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Historical Roots of Western’s Alumni Association

  • 1877: Huron College alumni form an association to achieve university status for their 14-year-old college.
  • 1878: Ontario government approves the establishment of “The Western University of London, Ontario”. The original governing Senate of Western included 10 Huron College alumni.
  • 1909: 50 medical graduates form the Medical Alumni Association under the leadership of Dr. Stuart Fisher. This separate association of medical alumni continues until 1947, with Dr. J.W. Crane as its head for 34 years. Dr. Crane maintained a list of all living medical graduates and their whereabouts, and started the Medical Alumni Bulletin which eventually evolved into the Alumni Gazette (1939).
  • 1918: Women in the then Faculty of Arts and Science form an association which remained active for several years.
  • 1929: Reverend J. Mackenzie Dobson, a graduate of Huron College and Western, was appointed director of The University of Western Ontario Alumni Association (Faculty of Arts). Working closely with Dr. Crane and his medical association, he introduced the concept of annual class reunions around one of the fall football games.
  • 1939: The first Western Alumni Gazette is published.
  • 1947: Roots of the Western’s present Alumni Association were in with the appointment of Charles W. Box as the overall alumni director. He organized programs for class reunions, developed alumni clubs and branches across Canada and is credited with the first alumni Homecoming in 1949.
  • 1949: The Alumni Association as we know it today was formed as a single association of graduates of all faculties and schools at Western. The Association was recognized by the Board of Governors as the umbrella organization and the official voice of all alumni. At the same time, alumni members were appointed to the Board of Governors giving an official representation in the administration of the University and three alumni membership positions were allotted to the University Senate. This was also the first year Homecoming was officially celebrated on campus.

For more details on the history of alumni at Western, click here

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