Université Laval

Université Laval
Ulaval Shield.svg
MottoDeo favente haud pluribus impar
Motto in English
By the grace of God, to no one equal
TypePublic
Established1663; 355 years ago (1663) (Séminaire de Québec)
December 8, 1852; 165 years ago (1852-12-08) (Royal Charter)
Endowment$377 million [1]
RectorSophie D'Amours
Undergraduates32,250 [1]
Postgraduates10,750 [1]
LocationQuebec City, Quebec, Canada
CampusUrban/Suburban
LanguageFrench
ColoursRed and Gold          
AthleticsCISRSEQ
NicknameRouge-et-Or
AffiliationsAUCC, CARL, IAU, AUFC, UArctic, ACU, CIS, QSSF, CBIE, U15
Websitewww.ulaval.ca
Ulaval Logo.svg

Université Laval (English: Laval University) is a French-language, public research university in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The University was founded by royal charter issued by Queen Victoria in 1852, with roots in the founding of the Séminaire de Québec in 1663 by François de Montmorency-Laval, making it the oldest centre of higher education in Canada and the first North American institution to offer higher education in French. The university, whose campus was erected from the 1950s onward in the suburban borough of Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge, is ranked among the top ten Canadian universities in terms of research funding[2] and holds four Canada Excellence Research Chairs.

History

François de Laval
The Old Séminaire de Québec today
Université Laval School of Architecture

The university began as the Séminaire de Québec, which was founded in 1663 by François de Montmorency-Laval, a member of the House of Laval and the first Bishop of New France.[3]

During the French Regime the institution mainly trained priests to serve in New France. After the Conquest of 1760, the British expanded education in Canada to include the liberal arts. French Canadians had at the time no opportunity to pursue higher education, and Bishop Bourget of Montreal suggested expanding the Séminaire de Québec into Université Laval. Louis Casault, a priest who taught physics at the Séminaire de Québec, went to Europe to seek a royal charter and study the best university systems there.

The Séminaire de Québec was granted a royal charter on December 8, 1852, by Queen Victoria, at the request of Lord Elgin (Governor-General of the Province of Canada), creating Université Laval with "the rights and privileges of a university".[4] The charter was signed in 1852. Pope Benedict XV approved the plan and authorized the institution to establish chairs of theology and confer degrees.[5]

In 1878, the university opened a second campus in Montreal, which became the Université de Montréal on May 8, 1919, by a writ of Pope Benedict XV. In 1971, a second charter transferred all authority to the Université Laval council.[4]

By 1925, the university had outgrown its location. The Old City was very crowded, making it difficult to add new buildings to the campus. The university moved to Sainte-Foy in the 1950s, which at the time was a semi-rural community west of the Quebec city centre. The School of Architecture returned to the old building (now affectionately referred to as Le Vieux Séminaire) in 1989.

Université Laval is governed by a board of governors and a faculty senate. This structure was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to serve as a link between the two bodies and lead the institution.[6]:306

In the early part of the 20th century, the need for higher education expanded beyond the classical fields of theology, law and medicine, and the university introduced science and social-science departments such as forestry and household science.[6]:1904 In addition, graduate training based on the German-inspired American model of specialized course work and the completion of a research thesis was introduced.[4]

"Laval", a waltz by French-Canadian ragtime composer, Wilfrid Beaudry, was dedicated to the students at Laval University and the University of Montreal. The music for piano was published in Québec by J. Beaudry, circa 1906.[7]

The university opened its department of social, political, and economic sciences in 1938, signalling a change of approach that continued into the 1960s, based on an idea of higher education as the key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and society.[8]

The royal charter that founded Université Laval in 1852 was designated a National Historic Event in 1972.[9]

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