The Portico magazine is published three times a year by Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Guelph. Its mission is to enhance the relationship between the University and its alumni and friends and promote pride and commitment within the University community.
Editor: Mary Dickieson
Director: Charles Cunningham
Web Designer: Amanda Scott, BFA
Lori Bona Hunt
SPARK Program Writers
Andrew Vowles, B.Sc. ’84
The Portico is mailed free to Guelph alumni living around the world. Ideas and opinions expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of the University or the editors. Website and contents Copyright 2013 University of Guelph
The first University of Guelph alumni magazine was published early in 1968, a natural progression from the establishment of the University in 1964 to the development of a University-wide alumni association and a department of alumni affairs.
The first issue of the Guelph Alumnus magazine brought campus news to 11,000 graduates of the University’s founding colleges – the Ontario Agricultural College, the Ontario Veterinary College and Macdonald Institute. Alumni numbers grew quickly as the University of Guelph expanded to offer a diversity of programs in the arts and sciences, and the Guelph Alumnus reflected those changes in its coverage of campus and alumni events.
In 2004, the magazine changed its name to The Portico as the University of Guelph celebrated its 40th anniversary. Borrowed from the limestone portico that sits on Johnston Green, the magazine’s new name reflects University history, but is gender neutral and has meaning for graduates of all disciplines. The Portico is identified by alumni and the campus community as a positive symbol of tradition and an entryway to the University community.
In fact, the Portico is the only piece of architecture to endure since the inception of the campus. The first students walked through these limestone columns to begin classes in 1874. For every generation of living Guelph alumni, the Portico has been a sentinel on Johnston Green. Today’s students may pass the Portico with little notice of its history, but they rest and study and play in its shadow. Tens of thousands of family photo albums have pictures of the Portico used as a backdrop for a group of Guelph friends, new graduates with their proud parents, wedding parties, alumni reunions and family outings.
The Portico belongs to everyone who has sought learning at the University of Guelph. Its enduring presence is symbolic of our great strength as an educational institution, the traditions we cling to and the welcoming campus environment we want to maintain.
Now representing both the printed and web versions of the University’s alumni magazine, we hope you will respond to The Portico as an invitation to come inside, read about the University of Guelph and stay in touch.
The University has more than 100,000 active alumni living in 113 countries around the world. Almost 50 per cent of those graduates earned their degrees within the last 15 years.
U of G’s Portico
In 1855, Guelph stone mason Matthew Bell crafted and built a limestone entrance for the farm house on a 500-acre property owned by Frederick W. Stone.When the Stone farm was purchased as a college site in 1874, the house was used as both classroom and residence. Additional stories and wings were added over the years, and in 1929 the whole building was razed to make way for the construction of today’s Johnston Hall. The Portico was saved. It was stored until 1934 when it was rebuilt in its present location and dedicated by alumni as a connecting link between the past and present. A later generation of alumni chose the Portico to serve as a symbol for the first University of Guelph development fund in 1969, and a restoration project in 1999 saw still another group of alumni save the weathered landmark from deterioration. Today, as it has been for nearly decades, the Portico is a favourite place to take convocation photos.