University of Manitoba Chronological History, 1976-1999
  • Ralph Campbell becomes the 8th President of the University of Manitoba.
  • St. John’s College offers its first Colin Inkster Memorial Awards.
  • A team of three students from the Faculty of Administrative Studies win the seventh annual Intercollegiate Marketing Management Competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • The one-millionth book is added to the University Library at a ceremony held April 12, 1976.  The historic occasion is commemorated by the presentation of a volume of Canadian historical significance:  a handwritten document of the North West Traders concerning the discovery of a new route from Lake Superior to the River Jainipique (Winnipeg) addressed to Gov. Frederick Haldimand in 1784.
  • The University of Manitoba enters its Joint Masters Agreement in English, History and Religion with the University of Winnipeg.
  • The University of Manitoba offers a joint program in Industrial Arts and Business Education with Red River Community College.


  • The University marks its centennial with the launch of a major fund-raising campaign.  Jim Daly takes over as the head of the newly created Office of Private Funding.


  • Isabel Auld becomes the University’s 9th Chancellor.  Inter-Universities North, a joint effort between all three Manitoba universities to offer university courses north of the 53rd parallel, becomes an official grant program of the Universities Grants Commission.
  • The Department of Archives and Special Collections is established with Richard Bennett as the first formally trained archivist.


  • Four new programs are developed in 1980-1981.  They are:  Ukrainian-Canadian Heritage Studies; Bachelor of Science in Dentistry; Bachelor of Recreation Studies; and Labour Studies.
  • Arnold Naimark becomes the University’s 9th President in 1981.
  • New programs include a Master’s program in Education offered in French at St. Boniface College.  Ph.D. programs are also offered in Education, Sociology and in Food and Nutritional Sciences.
  • The Office of University Ombudsman is established with Christine McKee, Professor of Urban Planning, as the inaugural appointment.
  • St. Andrew’s College formally affiliates with the University of Manitoba on January 28, 1981, cementing a relationship dating back to 1959.
  • The Faculty of Agriculture, through the Department of Plant Science, receives a five year contract to work with the Government of Kenya in a program to strengthen Kenya’s potential in agricultural research and development relating to wheat and oilseeds.


  • In 1982 Gloria Steinem lectures on campus as part of the School of Social Work’s Distinguished Visitors program.  The theme was “Perspective on Women in the 1980’s.”
  • The H. E. Sellers Foundation endows a chair in Medicine for $1.2 million on January 29, 1982.


  • In 1983 the position of Student Advocate and Director of Special Programs for Student Affairs is created.  Professor James Burke is the first to hold the position.  President Naimark accepts an invitation to chair the North Portage Development Corporation.  The 1983 Entrepreneur Award is presented to Albert D. Cohen, President of Gendis Inc.


  • Queen Elizabeth II turns the sod for the new Administrative Studies of Transport Institute in October 1984.
  • The Peter D. Curry Award for governance and development at the University is created by Investors Group.
  • The Canadian Forces Program marks its tenth anniversary with the awarding of the program’s first doctoral degree.  Major Atholl Malcolm obtains his Ph.D. in chemical psychology.


  • In 1985 the Faculty of Administrative Studies establishes the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.  Paul Desmarais, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Power Corp., is the initial recipient.
  • New programs includes the Manitoba Nursing Research Institute, the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and the Institute for Technological Development.
  • Marilyn McKenzie is appointed as the first sexual harassment officer.
  • In October the Hon. Samuel Freedman and Mr. Justice R. G. B. Dickson are named honorary professors.


  • In 1986, with funding from the International Development Research Centre, University of Manitoba researchers under the coordination of Dr. John Rogge of the Department of Geography are collaborating in a research project with Jahangunagis University in Dhaka, Bangladesh to examine the social and economic effects of floods and riverbank erosion.  Such issues as population development, land reallocation and the technical aspects of riverbank erosion were being investigated; the information provided was to be compiled into a database for planning.
  • The Board of Governors approve Ph.D. programs for Administrative Studies in the areas of marketing, organizational behaviour and management science.
  • Three University of Manitoba scholars receive Killam Research Fellowships:  Dr. B. R. Henry, Chemistry; Dr. Robert Kroetsch, English; and Dr. G. A. Gratzer, Mathematics.
  • Dr. D. O. Wells, Vice-President (Administration) since 1975, accepts an appointment as president of Mount Allison in Sackville, N.B.
  • The Learned Societies Conference opens on May 25 and runs for 15 days. 
  • Dr. Henry Duckworth is named the University of Manitoba’s 10th  Chancellor.


  • In 1987 the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC) awards a four-year grant of more than $1.1 million per year in continued support of the research program of the M.R.I. Group for Allergy Research in the Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine.


  • Haraldur Bessason, head of the Icelandic Department, assumes the position of rektor at the University of Iceland, Akureyre in January 1988.
  • The Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts is established and a Ph.D. program in Agricultural Engineering is developed and approved.
  • In 1988 Dr. Gerald Goldenberg, Faculty of Medicine, is awarded a $500,000 (U.S.) grant from the inaugural Bristol Myers Company research grant program for studies in tumor resistance to chemotherapy.
  • Prairie Theatre Exchange is approved as a teaching centre for the University’s Theatre program.
  • The first Vilhjalmur Stefansson Award for Excellence in Canadian Northern Studies is awarded to Professor Jillian Oakes, Clothing and Textiles.
  • The Department of Linguistics receives Senate approval to offer masters’ and Ph.D. programs.


  • In February 1989 Andrei Sakharov, physicist and a leading champion for human rights in the Soviet Union, is awarded a honorary degree from the University of Manitoba during his visit to Winnipeg.
  • Professor John Haiman, Professor of Linguistics and a Killan recipient, is awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • In October 1989 the Duff Roblin Fellowship Program is introduced; 25 students benefited from the $200,000 bequest.


  • In 1991 the Robert and Elizabeth Knight Distinguished Visitors Program is announced with a contribution of $1million dollars by the Knights.  Both are University of Manitoba graduates.  Robert had received his B.A. in 1920 while Elizabeth graduated with a B.A. in 1922.
  • The Masters of Archival Studies program is launched as part of the Joint Masters program in history with the University of Winnipeg.
  • Dr. Henry Friesen of the Department of Physiology is named President of the Medical Research Council.


  • In 1992 the papers of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry are donated to the E. K. Williams Law Library.
  • Formal approval is granted for a Ph.D. in religion.
  • The University of Manitoba signs a major contract with the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Canamera Foods Ltd, who teamed up to provide joint funding to support the University’s breeding and crop development program in the area of high erucic acid rapeseed and low linolenic acid canola.  The contract was for $930, 000 and extended over a five-year period.  Drs. Rachel Scarth, Roger Rimmer and Peter McVetty of the Department of Plant Science were the principal researchers involved in the project.


  • In 1993-1994 the Universities Grants Commission approves the development of full proposals for a Master of Science in Recreation Studies, a Ph.D. in Social Work and a B.Sc. (Major) in Medical Laboratory Science provided jointly with Red River Community College.
  • Dr. Jon Gerrard, Pediatrics and Child Health, is appointed Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development.  Dr. Gerrard is internationally known for his research on blood cells and the clinical care of young patients with cancer and blood disorders.
  • Professor Carol Shields, English, wins the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction for her newest novel, The Stone Diaries.  Professor Shields is also a finalist for Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for the same novel.
  • Christine Coley, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine, wins two gold medals in the 400 and 800 metre track events at the Para Olympics in Barcelona.
  • James Fletcher, an Agriculture Grad (1925), leaves $300,000 for two graduate fellowships.
  • In 1993-1994 a research project to be undertaken at the St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre receives $5.2 million from the Medical Research Council Group Award.  The fund was to run over six years and included a $1, 050, 878 award for operating and equipment grants in the first year.  The collaborating team, headed by Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, was composed of staff from physiology and anatomy.
  • The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba awards $1, 544, 033 to support 41 research projects at the University of Manitoba.
  • The opening of the Polo Park teaching facility of the Continuing Education Division takes place on September 21, 1993.
  • The University of Manitoba becomes the first university in Canada to offer a master’s degree in Interior Design.
  • Al Cerilli, a 40-year member of the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport and General Workers, becomes the first labor scholar-in-residence at the university.
  • English Professor Robert Kroetsch’s literary career is the theme of a literary conference in Strasbourg.  Dr. Kroetsch is considered the foremost Canadian author studied in Europe and his work is the subject of theses at universities in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.


  • In 1995 Carol Shields wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Stone Diaries.
  • The University of Manitoba Bookstore receives the Store of the Year Award from the Canadian Book Publishers Council and the Western Canadian College Stores Association.
  • October 1995 sees a 17-day strike by the University of Manitoba Faculty Association.
  • The University of Manitoba Alumni Association celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a kickoff dinner at the Fort Garry Hotel on January 27, 1996.
  • Three Bison teams capture National Championships.  The Bison women’s basketball team wins its first championship since the 1987-1988 season.  The Bison men’s volleyball team repeat as champions while the men’s track and field team capture top honors for the third year in a row.
  • The first 23 graduates of the new one-year Master of Business Administration program receive their degrees at the fall convocation.
  • On July 1, 1996 Dr. Emoke Szathmary, former provost and vice-president (academic) at McMaster University, becomes the 10th President of the University of Manitoba.


  • The University doubles its entrance scholarships for the 1996-1997 session to 624.


  • The Task Force on Strategic Planning for the University of Manitoba holds its first meeting on January 6, 1997.
  • The Libraries Exhibits Committee win an award for mounting the best exhibit in honor of McClelland and Stewart’s 90th year of Canadian publishing.
  • Terri-Lee Johanneson is named the C.I.A.U. Female Athlete of the Year at the Howard Mackie Awards in Calgary on April 3, 1997.
  • The Internet Innovation Centre opens in the Engineering Faculty.  This brought together students, staff, industry and government to explore new Internet research and applications worldwide.
  • A contract is awarded to the University of Manitoba in June 1997 by the Canadian International Development Agency for a project that sought to establish, extend and eventually consolidate links between Lanzhou University in China and the University of Manitoba.  The project, under the direction of Gwyn Williams (Physics), focussed principally on developing human resources for a modern higher education strategy with particular emphasis on modern materials science.
  • Izzy Asper, chairman and CEO of CanWest Global Communication Corp., and the Asper family donate $1 million to the Faculty of Management to establish an endowment fund for the Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • On November 14, 1997 the University of Manitoba Libraries celebrates the presentation of the two millionth volume to its collection.  The volume, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader by John Long, is chosen by President Szathmary and purchased by the Alumni Association.  The book, a first edition copy from 1791, includes a vocabulary of the Chippewyan Language. 


  • In September 1998 the Senate Secretariat and the Board of Governors Secretariat are amalgamated, becoming the University Secretariat.
  • Enrollment increases 1.8 % from 1997 and University 1 is introduced.
  • The William R. Newman Agriculture Library is dedicated October 30, 1998.
  • John Ralston Saul inaugurates the Templeton Lecture on Democracy on February 8, 1999.
  • Federated Research donates $500,000 to establish the Centre for Research and Treatment of Arteriosclerosis at a presentation on January 27, 1999 at the Brodie Centre Atrium.
  • Hugh Smith (B.Sc. Med. ’65, MD ’65) is appointed chair of the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors in Rochester, Minnesota.
  • Monsanto Canada Inc. announces plans to develop a $10 million crop development centre at the University of Manitoba on land adjacent to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Cereal Research Centre.
  • The Faculty of Management earns international accreditation for its business programs from the International Association for Management Education.
  • The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada announces that 231 principal investigators will receive $6, 825, 907 in research operating and equipment grants.
  • The President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, receives an Honorary L.L.D. at a Special Convocation on April 28, 1999.
  • The Isbister Legacy Society, honouring all individuals known to have included the University in their estate plans, is created.


  • The Marshall McLuhan Initiative is founded at St. Paul's College in honour of University of Manitoba alumnus, Marshall McLuhan.

1877-1924      1926-1950      1951-1974