Concordia University is somewhat unique in its classification among the universities in Quebec: unlike Laval, Montreal, and McGill, Concordia is more of a comprehensive university, meaning it’s somewhat between professional research centres such as McGill and primarily undergraduate universities such as Bishop’s. While Concordia tends towards McGill in its strength in research and studies, it does not have medical or law school, classical “professional” degrees. It does, however, have a highly regarded business school, the John Molson School of Business, placed consistently within the top ten business schools in Canada. But as this series on higher education in Quebec comes to a close, it would be surprising to see a school such as Concordia last on the list, though it is here for good reason: it is the school in this series that was founded last in our series, in 1974.
Concordia emerged from the merger of two universities, Sir George Williams (now the downtown campus) and Loyola College (now the campus in NDG). On one side, Loyola College used to be part of the Jesuit College Sainte-Marie de Montréal and was affiliated with Université Laval until the 1920s, when it became affiliated with the newly-created Université de Montréal in order to give degrees to their students. Loyola, however, wanted to become a university in its own right, and had negotiations with the government that eventually led to the merger. Sir George Williams University formed out of the night classes offered by the YMCA nearby (going all the way back to the 1850s!), receiving their university charter in the 1940s. The merger allowed for both schools to modernize (read: for Loyola, secularize) with the times. And so Concordia University was created in 1974, and with it, its chance for growth and further success. Its new name was taken from Montreal’s motto, Concordia salus: growth through harmony. And indeed, it does have growth (approximately forty-six undergraduates alone), and perhaps some harmony as well.
Graduates from Concordia University include Jonathan Goldstein (host of WireTap on CBC Radio 1) and Mario Dumont (former leader of the ADQ).