University of Guelph History

University of Guelph History

To know where you are going, you must understand where you have been: That adage has deep roots at the University of Guelph.

Our reputation for innovation, creativity and discovery dates back more than 150 years. This rich history distinguishes us in atmosphere, approach and attitude.

Building on a foundation of tradition and quality, the University of Guelph has become a leader in the life sciences, arts and humanities, and in supporting the next generation of great minds.

We embrace the best of the past while looking to transform the future.

Our founders pushed boundaries and challenged assumptions.

Today, we’re equipping our students, faculty, and staff with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in tomorrow’s complex world.

History Timeline

  • 1874, the province opens an agricultural school on a 500-acre farm in Guelph
  • 1880, school officially renamed as the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC)
  •  1903, OAC joined on campus by the Macdonald Institute, which becomes known as the premier home economics school in North America
  • 1922, Ontario Veterinary College moves to campus from Toronto, where it began in 1862
  • 1964, three colleges are amalgamated to form the University of Guelph. Wellington College is created to offer degree programs in arts and sciences
  • 1969, Wellington College divided into the College of Arts, the College of Physical Science and the College of Social Science; Macdonald Institute becomes the College of Family and Consumer Studies
  • 1971, formation of the College of Biological Science
  • 1989, formation of the College of Physical and Engineering Science
  • 1998, formation of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences from amalgamation of colleges of Social Science and Family and Consumer Studies
  • 2006, creation of College of Management and Economics; renamed as College of Business and Economics in 2014