Alexander College

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Name: Alexander College
Alexander College accommodations, ca.1947. UA PC 9 no. 25 (8).

Other Names: "Alex"

Civic Address: Located on the Fredericton Exhibition Grounds between Smythe St. and Saunders St. (commonly referred to at the time as Wilmot Park)

Sod Turning: Unknown

Cornerstone Laying: Unknown

Opened for Use: 9 October 1940 (as a Non-Permanent Active Militia Training Centre); 11 January 1946 (as Alexander College)

Official Opening: Winter 1946

Architect: Unknown

Named for: Governor General Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis (1891-1969): British military commander and Field Master who served in both world wars; the last non-Canadian-born Governor General of Canada (1946-1952).
One of the veteran students living at Alexander College attempts to finish his drafting assignment while surrounded by his growing family. Note the improvised drafting table made out of his wife's sewing machine, 1947. UA PC 9; no. 25 (5).

Renovations/changes/additions: Originally a Non-Permanent Active Militia Training Centre, the base became a basic training centre 15 February 1941 and later became the No. 70 Canadian Infantry (Basic) Training Centre 15 November 1943.

UNB converted a portion of the huts into living quarters and classrooms in late 1945 to prepare for the influx of veterans who enrolled at UNB for the Winter 1946 semester. Further accommodations were provided in the fall of 1946, when apartments in Wilmot Park formerly occupied by the Canadian Women's Army Corps became available for married students with children. A medical centre was also established in the former officers' mess hall in the fall of 1946, with Mrs. D. K. Parr—wife of Dean Parr—as supervisor and the services of a veteran's wife, a qualified nurse.

Notes: Alexander College was the auxiliary college established to accommodate the influx of veterans post-Second World War. In the summer of 1946, the university signed a four year lease with the Fredericton Exhibition grounds, which included use of the Fredericton Exhibition grounds and its buildings, though the race track, grand stand and stables remained under the control of the Exhibition Company. During the Winter and Summer semesters of 1946 the College was male only, but the increased need of housing for married veterans induced the College to provide married quarters as of Fall 1946.

Students of Alexander College had their own Student Representative Council, social groups, and athletic teams. Alexander College students attended classes on the property but travelled up to the main campus for labs. While much of the encampment was leased to UNB, students had to share some facilities (such as the Drill Hall for sports and indoor recreation) with the army, which used the premises simultaneously.

UNB officially closed Alexander College in June 1950, with the land and buildings reverting back to Fredericton Exhibition Ltd.

See also: The Women of Alexander College

Source(s):

  • Montague, Susan. A Pictorial History of the University of New Brunswick. University of New Brunswick, 1992, pp. 124-5.
  • UA Case 123; Section 3; Box 1; Alexander College.
  • UNB Scrapbooks (UA RG 100), January - November 1946.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 65, no. 14, 14 February 1946, p. 1.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 66, no. 4, 18 October 1946, p. 1.
  • The Canadian Enclyclopedia. [Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis]
  • The Governor General of Canada website, [Viscount Alexander]
  • New Brunswick Military History Project, [York County]
  • MacNutt, W. Stewart. "The University in the Twentieth Century." The University of New Brunswick Memorial Volume. Ed. Alfred G. Bailey. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1950, pp. 47-56.
  • Lloyd, Hugh and Wade, Scott. Behind the Hill. Fredericton: Students' Representative Council, the Associated Alumni and the Senate of the University of New Brunswick, 1967, p. 182-184.
  • Alumni News, fall 1980, p. 5.


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