History and Alumni of the University of Manitoba

Wondering how the University of Manitoba came to be? Here’s a brief history lesson on the school and its alumni.

Going way back to the beginning.

Founded in 1877, the University of Manitoba is spread out across multiple locations and campuses, the two largest being the Bannatyne Campus and the Fort Garry campus.

The main Fort Garry campus comprises over 60 major teaching and research buildings of the university. The campus is also home to 4 are colleges: St. John’s College, St. Paul’s College, St. Andrew’s College, and University College. The residence provides a way for students to live on campus with the three largest residences being Arthur V. Mauro, Mary Speechly Hall, and Pembina hall. 

With over 30,000 enrolled students, on any given weekday during the regular session, the Fort Garry Campus becomes the second most populated area in Manitoba, surpassing the city of Brandon and only trailing the city it itself is located in Winnipeg. 

The Bannatyne Campus.

The University of Manitoba Bannatyne Campus is a complex of ten buildings in central Winnipeg belonging to the university’s health sciences branch. The Health Sciences branch was established to consolidate the university’s health education community into a more unified body. There are multiple health sciences departments, including Medicine, Dentistry, Rehabilitation Sciences, and Pharmacy. Nursing is included in this branch although remains on the Fort Garry campus as well as the College of Nursing, although it still remains on the Fort Garry campus.

The school also proudly offers many different degrees and programs offered across 24 different faculties. This includes Agriculture, Architecture, Arts, Asper School of Business, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Education, Engineering, Environment Earth and Resources, Extended Education, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Health, Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Law, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Pharmacy, Rehabilitation, Science, Social work, and a faculty specifically for those who haven’t declared which faculty they would like to join, University 1.

What about diversity?

With the lowest tuition out of all U15 schools, it is a popular destination for international students with over 6,000 enrolled. With this, it holds the reputation of being one of the most internationally diverse student bodies in the world.

The University is also home to the University of Manitoba Students’ Union. Founded in 1919, UMSU advocates for undergraduate students at both the administrative, municipal, provincial and federal levels.

In 1990 the UMSU Act was passed giving UMSU its own provincial Act, something that is unique to UMSU and no other Student Union in Canada. While still advocating for students, today UMSU also offers support programs to students such as secondary health care and a universal transit pass.

Lets talk sports.

The university is represented in U Sports by the Manitoba Bisons. The U of M offers 12 different sports teams including Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Hockey, Soccer, Swimming, Track and Field, and Volleyball.

The university offers recreational programs year-round. Athletic facilities on campus include the Frank Kennedy Centre, Max Bell Centre, the Investor’s Group Athletic Centre, and IG Field, which opened in 2013 to replace University Stadium. The first three facilities contain indoor tracks, a swimming pool, work-out facilities, and an international ice hockey rink, as well as basketball, volleyball, squash, and racquetball courts.

In addition, the Frank Kennedy Centre also hosts dance, combat and gymnastics rooms, and indoor tennis courts. The Active Living Centre is a new multi-million dollar state-of-the-art gym that opened in 2015 to replace the former gym known as “The Gritty Grotto”. Many U of M Alumni will remember The Gritty Grotto fondly due to its rather unappealing appearance but heartwarming personality.

Any noteable alumni?

On the note of Alumni, the University of Manitoba is proud to have so many of their graduated students go on to have great success in life. Some noteworthy people are as follows.

  • Izzy Asper and David Asper. Father Izzy and son David were both lawyers with the U of M naming their business faculty after them. “The Asper School of Business”
  • Don Callis. Former wrester, gained international attention working under the name “The Jackyl” for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
  • Brian Dickson. Former chief justice of Canada
  • Gary Filmon. Former Premier of Manitoba
  • Steven Fletcher. Federal Cabinet Minster. As well was a two time UMSU President
  • Monty Hall. TV personality. Was widely known as the long-running host of Let’s Make a Deal and for the puzzle named after him, the Monty Hall problem.
  • John Alexander Hopps. Inventor of world first artificial pacemaker.
  • Israel Idonije. Former Bisons football player. Went on to play 11 years in the NFL.
  • Sam Katz. Former Mayor of Winnipeg
  • Nic Demski. Former Bison football player. Currently playing in the CFL, Grey Cup winner.
  • Dufferin Roblin. Former Manitoba Premier. The University of Manitoba named its Psychology building after him.
  • Edward Schreyer. Former Manitoba Premier.
  • Robert Steen. Former Mayor of Winnipeg.

Looking for more information on the University of Manitoba? Keep reading on Campus Guides.

Published on October 25, 2021

About Brendan Scott

Hey, my name is Brendan Scott and I am the University of Manitoba’s Student Union’s 97th President. I am currently finishing up a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I hope to continue my studies here at the University of Manitoba as I love to call Winnipeg my home. In the summer I’m at the cottage in the winter I’m on the ice rink!