“A graduate with a fourth year diploma [from Prince of Wales] could go anywhere” 1

 

At PWC, school work was serious business: whether its students received Bachelor’s degrees, junior college diplomas, or teaching licenses, the academic standards at the College were rigorous, exacting, and highly respected throughout the country. “Some of Canada’s finest scholars have been proud to call PWC their alma mater” brags the 1960 Welshman yearbook.2 Some graduates, most notably LM Montgomery, went on to literary fame.3 Others, such as Sir Andrew Macphail and Jacob Gould Schurman, became leaders of prestigious universities (Macphail was Chair of the Department of Medical History at McGill, while Schurman was a revered president of Cornell University).4 PWC alums also...


Although Prince of Wales was a relatively small college, the nature of Prince Edward Island’s communities had created two distinct groups in the student body: those from Charlottetown (the “town” or “townie” students) and those from rural parts of the province.1 This was, partly, a matter of basic economics: until 1964, students from Charlottetown paid about twice as much in tuition fees as those from outside of the city (in that year, for example, Charlottetown residents paid $100 for their third and fourth years, while rural students only paid $502  -- see digitized PWC Calendars for more historical tuition information). Much of the cost difference was caused by the high price of boarding houses and residences -- the only options for most rural students -- which from the early days of the College had prompted the provincial government to subsidize tuition for out-of-town students.3

 

But the...


                                       

Like any athletic dynasty, the PWC Welshmen (and Women) had mixed success over the years, with seasons good and bad (such variable fortunes were perhaps best illustrated by a single front-page headline from The College Times“HOCKEY TEAMS WINS! GREAT VICTORY! BOTH BASKETBALL TEAMS SQUELCHED”).1  Rather than attempt to pressure its athletes into achieving constant success, PWC tended to put more emphasis on its academic triumphs:  sports represented an important form of socialization and amusement rather than the focus of the university’s prestige. Frank MacKinnon put it this way: “too many stars of school and college extra-curricular activities had nowhere to go when their marks and social or athletic skills were not good enough for...

From its humble beginnings in the dilapidated, soot-stained building that initially housed the College to the "huge, modern and well-equipped" building1 which still stands today, PWC underwent many physical transformations during the one hundred and nine years of its existence. When it first opened in 1860, the school was housed in a forty year- old building in the city block bounded by Weymouth, Grafton, Cumberland, and Kent streets. Formely home to the Central Academy,  PWC's academic predecessor, 2 this building, though woefully inadequate in size, quality, and safety, had to serve PWC for nearly four decades more, for want of government funding for a suitable replacment. It was not until 1900 that principal Alexander Anderson oversaw the construction of a brand new Prince of Wales College.3 Praised as “a commodious and very substantial structure”4 by Lieutenant...


 

The state of school spirit or pride at PWC is best described by Marian Bruce in her history of Prince of Wales College, A Century of Excellence:

the issue of ‘college spirit’ [was] a subject that had tortured  young minds since the 19th century.  There was always somebody grumbling in the student publication that people were failing to cheer for the home team at football and hockey games, failing to show up at assemblies, failing to pull their weight on student council.1

A striking example of this type of “grumbling” was a cartoon printed in a 1959 issue of The College Times depicting a coffin labelled “College Spirit” RIP 1956.”2 It would seem -- from the cartoonist's view, at least -- that the enthusiasm, excitement, and commitment needed to generate school spirit or pride were lacking at good old PWC.

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They would go here ...


 

The story of Prince of Wales College (PWC) dates back to 1804, when Edmund Fanning, the Island’s second Lieutenant-Governor, granted two blocks of his own land to the Crown, as a site “for the purpose of laying the foundation of a College for the education of youth in the learned languages, the arts and sciences, and all the branches of useful and polite literature.” In 1821, a district school called the National School (also known as Kent School and Breading's School) opened. Located on the Kent Street side of the block, the National School operated until the mid-1800s, and closed just before the Normal School was established in 1856. The Normal School, for training teachers, was located in the National School building, which had been renovated and enlarged for that purpose.

Central Academy was built in 1834-35, south of the National School. It was upgraded in 1860, and was renamed Prince of Wales College, in honour of that year's visit of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII. The College was intended “to impart an Education equal to that to be acquired in any other institution in the provinces,” in order that “the youth of this Island may be sent into the world with a certificate of an educational qualification enabling them to take their place in the various professions and vocations of life with advantage to society and honor and credit to themselves.”

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RESPECTING THE STANDARDS OF THE PAST; BUILDING A LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE

H. Wade MacLauchlan's address to the PWC Reunion 2003

 

Good afternoon everyone.

 

My name is Wade MacLauchlan, and I have the privilege to serve as President of the University of Prince Edward Island.

 

I am delighted to welcome you this afternoon, for the culminating event of your PWC Grand Reunion 2003.  This wonderful student centre has become the new crossroads of our university. Today, it serves as a gathering point for the traditions, heritage and affinities that attach to Prince of Wales College, and that underpin a proud history of higher education on Prince Edward Island.

 

I congratulate the organizers of this Grand Reunion, and all of you as participants, for such a splendid turnout.

 

500 people enjoying the good humour, the sense of purpose, and the genuine friendship that mark this Grand Reunion is an achievement truly to be treasured and celebrated.

 

I am sure I speak for everyone in admiring the efforts of the...


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