Tuum Est It is Yours
The Great War has ended and Canada now faces significant post-war challenges — thousands of restless veterans searching for work, another recession, and the ravages of the deadly Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1917-1920 that will claim the lives of tens of millions worldwide.
Despite the adversities, the post-war UBC student population continues to grow, helped in no small part by five years of free tuition. In 1920, beset with its own post-war budget woes, the BC government introduces student fees. Somewhat dismayed, UBC concedes that it needs help.
While central Canada focuses on industrial manufacturing, British Columbia — and UBC specifically — looks to agriculture as a core research area and academic focus. Researchers at UBC begin to conduct applied research related to local crops, cheese production and livestock management. Meanwhile, Faculties in Chemistry (which include chemical engineering) provide important research to BC’s chemical, mining and smelting industries.
Beyond the classroom or laboratory, faculty are busy building UBC’s reputation in the broader community, teaching vocational courses for returning veterans, providing commentary to local newspapers and media, and developing new curriculum and courses. The number of faculty publications increases and topics range from local ocean issues to the vexing orbits of the helium atom.
Yet, the physical environment no longer matches the bold optimism of the faculty, staff and students. Under the leadership of President Klink, the young university now has a student population of around 1,200 and has easily outgrown its humble beginning in the ‘Fairview Shacks’. Construction of the new and long-promised Point Grey campus has long stalled, with only the abandoned frame of the Science Building to show for all the political promises and stated intentions.
Tuum Est begins to take hold as more than just a motto. The student body organizes, powers up the “Build the University” campaign, gathers 56,000 signatures on a public petition and alerts the media.
Explore the era
- Klinck, L.S. (1929, December 16). Report of the President of the University of British Columbia for the academic year ending August 31st, 1929. Retrieved from http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/pdfs/presidents/1929.pdf
- UBC Library. (2015, June 18). A brief history of the University of British Columbia.Retrieved from http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/hist_ubc.html
- Header image: Major James Skitt Matthews, courtesy of The City of Vancouver Archives
- Pull quote and president images: The University of British Columbia Archives
- Timeline media: The University of British Columbia Archives
- Slideshow media: The University of British Columbia Archives, archives987 (The Great Trek video).
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