The university was incorporated in 1969 with the merger of in its predecessor institutions, Prince of Wales College (PWC) and St. Dunstan’s University (SDU).
The University’s campus is a reflection of the character of UPEI on many levels – a complementary blend of old and new, of tradition and innovation. Original SDU buildings have been renovated tastefully to retain integrity of design while meeting modern standards, and many buildings have been integrated into the campus including the Utilities Building (1973), Blanchard Hall (1973), the Robertson Library (1975), the Atlantic Veterinary College (1986), the Young Canada Games Sports Centre (1990), the Wanda Wyatt Dining Hall (1990), the K.C. Irving Chemistry Centre (1997), and the new Student Union Centre (2002).
The depth of UPEI’s academic heritage is reflected not only in the buildings and scholarships named in honour of education pioneers and benefactors, but also in personal, day-to-day connections. Graduates of SDU and PWC teach at UPEI, children of current and former faculty and staff attend the University, and many families proudly report multi-generational alumni connections to the institution. Now numbering more than 13,000, alumni of UPEI, SDU, and PWC - whether in Prince Edward Island, elsewhere in Canada, or abroad - maintain a close sense of connection with their University.
UPEI has seen important developments in its programming over the past thirty years. Bachelors’ programs, in many cases including “honours” options, are available in Arts, Science, Business Administration, Education, and Nursing. Co-op programs have been established in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Dietetics. One new Faculty, Veterinary Medicine, and two schools, Business Administration and Nursing, were added as the University expanded. Masters and Doctoral degree programs were first introduced through the Atlantic Veterinary College and, beginning in 1999, a Master of Science degree was offered through the Faculty of Science. In that same year the first students were admitted to the University’s new Master of Education program.
Underlying the University’s programs and activities is a commitment to rigorous study and inquiry, belief in the value of knowledge, lifelong capacity-building, and the development of the whole person - along with a sense of community at UPEI and in its local, regional, national and international contexts. Faculty in all disciplines produce research and scholarly works of national and international caliber while continuing to give priority to UPEI’s well-earned reputation for high-quality teaching characterized by individual attention. With all of these developments, and with its rich heritage, UPEI is justly proud to say that it is “a great small university.”
The University of Prince Edward Island is fortunate to have been served by a succession of outstanding Chancellors, and Presidents/Vice-Chancellors. The current President is H.W. MacLauchlan, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. , installed October 3, 1999.