by Rebecca Wagner, Director of External Relations
Happy 60th anniversary United College!
Sixty years after United College welcomed its first cohort of students in 1963, the college once again opened its doors and invited guests to back campus to celebrate 60 years of academic excellence and community at a special summer BBQ on Saturday, July 15th, 2023.
Anniversaries are an opportunity to build bridges between the old and the new, to reflect and appreciate how the past has shaped the present, and to experience how an institution has evolved over time.
Friends from United College past and present came together from across Southwestern Ontario to re-live favourite memories and experience how the college has grown over the years. Guests included current students, alumni, and friends from across the generations, many of whom have engaged with the college in its many iterations: St. Paul’s United College, St. Paul’s University College, and United College.
An alumnus who lived at United College from 1970 to 1973 laughingly recalled winning a “door prize” at a formal college event. When he went up to accept his award, he was surprised to see that the door of his dorm room had been removed and was presented to him on stage. Not to worry though, as two frosh stood guard at his residence room to make sure nothing was stolen!
Bringing people together is what United College does best, forging meaningful connections across the generations and building that important bridge between current students and alumni.
In a literal walk down memory lane, alumni explored their residence floors and tried to spot their old rooms. “This looks identical! It’s like nothing’s changed.” “There was no air conditioning in residence decades ago, meaning there were many hot summer nights at St. Paul’s!”
A 60th anniversary display was unveiled featuring unique memorabilia from decades past, including a “Service of Thanksgiving” bulletin from 1963 to officially dedicate the first St. Paul’s building, photos of the “chapel” being constructed in 1983, yearbook editions of “The Toast Chronicles” from the 1990’s, and an original, rich, royal blue with gold trim St. Paul's Principal's robe and accompanying hat from 1985.
To bridge the old and the new, United College officially launched merchandise bearing its recently re-branded name and logo, an integration of the college’s rich history with a re-commitment to its central values of inclusion, togetherness, and unity.
As the college continues its milestone 60th anniversary celebrations throughout the year, it looks forward to the re-creation of the iconic United College 50th anniversary image this fall, where friends of past and present will come together to bridge the decades once again.