The Robson Hall Building in early fall

Time Capsule 1969 - 2019

  • The a photography for the original building for the Faculty of Law
  • On September 18th, 2019, almost 50 years to the day after Robson Hall, the Faculty of Law building on the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry Campus was officially opened, nearly 150 alumni, faculty members, students and staff gathered to mark the occasion.

    The Manitoba Law School’s physical move from its traditional home in the downtown law courts building on September 15th, 1969 also marked a major step in the “Great Transition” in legal education in Manitoba. By locating the law school on campus amongst other Faculty buildings, it was the hope of law school administrators at the time, that new inter-faculty collaborations would be fostered, leading to an enriching academic environment for law students and faculty members as well as the rest of the academic community. Eye-witness accounts of the early days at Robson Hall are recorded in the Manitoba Law Journal’s special edition volume 39(1), titled The Great Transition in Legal Education.

    Manitoba Law Journal Volumes

A major part of the building’s 50th Anniversary celebrations was the opening of a Time Capsule that had been hidden behind Robson Hall’s date stone on the day of the opening ceremony. With great curiosity, alumni, faculty and students had the opportunity to examine the contents upon Dean Jonathan Black-Branch opening the oblong copper box.

Inside the time capsule

Inside was a copy of the long-defunct Winnipeg Tribune from September 15, 1969, a brass doorknob bearing a bison head, taken from the old law courts building, photos of the student body, the academic, administrative and library staff, a document proposing the building’s needs and plans from 1966, an academic calendar of what courses were being taught at the law faculty for the 1969-1970 school year, a booklet commemorating the opening of Robson Hall, and predictions from staff  members of what they thought the world would be like when the time capsule was finally opened.

After guests had a chance to examine and enjoy the contents, Dean Black-Branch replaced all original items, and added photos of current day faculty, staff and students, plus letters to the future from the current community. By way of offering a toast to the law school’s future success, he added a small bottle of Manitoba-made Crown Royal.

Time capsule list of contents

  1. Photographs of student body 1969-70
  2. Photograph of the academic staff 1969-70
  3. Photograph of the administrative staff 1969-70 
  4. Photograph of library staff 1969-70
  5. Preliminary programme for proposed law faculty building 1966.
  6. Law Faculty calendar - 1969-70.
  7. Booklet commemorating opening of Robson Hall.
  8. Predications by several staff members as to conditions that will prevail when the box is opened.
  9. Order of proceedings for opening ceremonies.
  10. Newspapers for September 15, 1969.
  11. Door-knob from Law Courts building.

Photographs from the time capsule