Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
January 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Laval University


[This article was written in 1948. For the full citation, see the end of the text.]

Laval University, a French-Canadian institution of higher education founded at Quebec by royal charter in 1852. It grew out of the Séminaire established at Quebec by Bishop Laval in 1663; and it took the name of the founder of the Séminaire. In 1853 Pope Pius IX conferred on the archbishop of Quebec the power of conferring degrees in theology on the ecclesiastical students of the university; but it was not until 1876 that the university received from Rome its papal charter, under the bull Inter varias sollicitudines. It has thus two constitutions, one civil and the other religious. Its visitor, its rector, and its university council emanate from its royal charter; its chancellor and its supervising "Conseil Supérieur" of high ecclesiastics emanate from its papal constitution.


In 1876, in conformity with a decision of the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda at Rome, Laval University established a branch or Succursale in Montreal, with chairs subsidiary to its faculties in Quebec. This was judged necessary for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the distance between Montreal and Quebec, which made it difficult for many students to attend the university in Quebec. In 1889 the institution at Montreal was granted greater independence of the university at Quebec, and became almost a separate institution, though under the same name; and in 1920 it was organized as the University of Montreal.


Laval University has faculties of theology, philosophy, law, medicine, and arts. Under the faculty of arts are grouped all those departments which are not included in theology, philosophy, law, and medicine, and especially various affiliated or subordinate institutions. These include the École Normale Supérieure (which is equivalent to a faculty or department of education), the Ecole Supérieure de Chimie (the chemistry school), Philosophie-Sciences (the physics school), the École de Génie Forestière et d' Arpentage (the school of forestry and surveying), the École d' Agriculture at Ste. Anne de la Pocatière, the Êcole de Pharmacie, the Êcole de Musique, and the École des Garde-Malades (the school of nursing). It includes also certain institutions of secondary education, such as Collège de Sillery, at Bergerville, Quebec, which is for the education of young ladies, and the Académie Commerciale at Quebec, which is devoted to secondary commercial education, and offers also a special course in commercial subjects. The list of affiliated or associated institutions is, however, too long for enumeration. It includes most of the classical colleges of Quebec, nursing, schools in Quebec and New Brunswick, the Jesuit college in Alberta, and St. Dunstan's University in Prince Edward Island. Like other universities, Laval has become a complex institution,


The university has a teaching staff of over 200 professors and other instructors; and has, in the departments of higher education, over 2,000 students. Including the secondary and primary schools affiliated to or associated with it, it has an enrolment of about 14,000. See Abbé Camille Roy, L'Université Laval et les fêtes du cinquantenaire (Quebec, 1903).

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 400p., pp. 2-3.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College