Chemistry (UNBSJ)

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This entry is currently under development. Please do not consider the entry authoritative until it has been completed.

Previous names: Department of Physical Sciences 

UNBSJ, woman working in chemistry lab Record group/Fonds PR; Series 1; Sub-series 2; Item 5353 [19--]

Established: --


Chemistry at UNBSJ goes back to when the subject was offered as a single first year course under Fredericton’s Faculty of Science in 1964. Mr. Jack Wagstaff was recruited by Saint John High School to be the first instructor in Chemistry classes and labs at UNBSJ in 1964 and remained in that position until 1966. In 1965, second year Chemistry courses were added to the Science programme. Throughout UNBSJ’s first four years as an institution, labs were held at the New Brunswick Technology Institute and Saint John High School and classes were held at Beaverbrook House. Dr. Israel Unger, Dr. George Strunz, Dr. Barry Beckett, and Carl Tompkins taught the subject for the next three to four years. In 1969, Chemistry classes, labs, faculty and students found their home in William Ganong Hall on the brand new Tucker Park campus.

The Chemistry option was offered beginning in 1967, which was a program that allowed students to focus on taking courses that would lay the foundation for a specialization in Chemistry in their third and fourth year at UNB Fredericton. All courses offered in Chemistry in Saint John were a part of the Chemistry Department in the UNB Fredericton Faculty of Science. In 1974, the Chemistry option became part of the administrative Division of Mathematics and Sciences and in 1976 it separated and renamed the Division of Sciences, while remaining under the Chemistry Department at UNB Fredericton. In 1977, a proposal was made by UNBSJ suggesting the creation of a four-year degree program for Chemistry and Biology-Chemistry in Saint John, but it was rejected by the university Senate. In the year 1993, with the creation of the UNBSJ Faculty of Science, Applied Science, and Engineering, Chemistry became part of two departments: The UNBSJ Department of Physical Sciences and the UNB Fredericton Chemistry Department. This arrangement continued until 2007 when the Department of Physical Sciences was nullified. Beginning in the same year students could choose to take a Minor in Chemistry at UNBSJ, but students who wished to extend their learning further than a Minor were required to complete their third and fourth year of studies in Fredericton under the Department of Chemistry. Also in 2007 first year courses that led to Honours, Honours Co-op, Medicinal Chemistry Majors, or Medicinal Chemistry Honours were offered, as well as various second year courses. By 2005, UNBSJ offered forty-seven first and second year chemistry courses, in contrast with the two courses that were offered in 1965.

Physical location: William Ganong Hall (1969-)


  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science and Engineering (UNBSJ)
  • Faculty of Science (UNBF)

Notes: Linked with UNBF Department of Chemistry


  • McGahan, Peter. The Quiet Campus: A History of the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, 1959-1969. Fredericton: New Ireland Press, 1998.
  • UNB Perspectives Vol. 3(9)
  • Undergraduate Calendars (UA RG 86) 1965-2014

--Alloyd (talk) 09:44, 28 July 2015 (ADT)
© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2014