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The History of The University of Winnipeg

(Last updated fall 2017)

The University of Winnipeg received its charter in 1967 but its roots date back more than 145 years. The founding colleges were Manitoba College (1871), and Wesley College (1888), which merged to form United College in 1938. In 2017 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of receiving our university Charter, which was signed by then Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin.

The University of Winnipeg, located on Treaty One land, in the heart of the Métis homeland, offers a compact, diverse, multicultural academic community committed to access and excellence. The University of Winnipeg is a provincially and privately funded post-secondary institution with undergraduate and select graduate programs, as well as Collegiate and continuing education divisions.

The University of Winnipeg is large enough to offer over 800 courses in more than 40 subject areas from Indigenous Governance to Women's Studies, yet small enough to make sure students connect with the University's award-winning professors. We also offer Masters degree programs in the arts, science and business. Home to more than 9,300 full- and part-time students, UWinnipeg proudly reflects the diversity of our community, with 13% of incoming students self-identifying as First Nations, Métis and Inuit, and an additional 22% identifying as from a racialized community.

The University of Winnipeg executed a ten-year redevelopment plan from 2005 to 2015 which brought $217 million in new investments to campus and the surrounding community. At the heart of the plan was the University's commitment to providing students with an eco-friendly, relevant learning environment while sharing resources and space with the surrounding neighbourhood.


1871      Manitoba College was established by the Presbyterian Church

1877      Wesley College’s charter was granted to the Methodist Church

1888      Wesley College opened under the leadership of Principal Sparling

1896      Wesley Hall officially opened

1912      Wesley Annex was built, later renamed Sparling Hall. It served as a women’s residence until the 

1917      Dr. J.H. Riddell named President of Wesley College

1931      Manitoba College sold its property and joined with Wesley College in the teaching of Theology

1938      Manitoba College and Wesley College join to become United College

1967      United College receives its charter and becomes The University of Winnipeg under the leadership of President Lockhart. 

1988      The University of Winnipeg celebrated the 100th anniversary of Wesley College and the 50th anniversary of United College

1996      Wesley Hall celebrated its 100th anniversary 

2003      The University's Board of Regents established The University of Winnipeg Foundation

2007      The University of Winnipeg celebrates its 40th anniversary

2017      The University of Winnipeg celebrates its 50th anniversary