The University of New Brunswick is gearing up to celebrate its date of birth in a big way.

December 13th marks the 225th anniversary of the inception of public education in this province.  It was on that day in 1785 that seven United Empire Loyalists, displaced by the American Revolution and newly arrived in the New Brunswick wilderness, signed a petition in Saint John asking Governor Thomas Carleton to establish an academy to teach liberal arts and sciences.  From the academy that was eventually formed grew the College of New Brunswick, which later became King’s College in Fredericton, and finally the University of New Brunswick.

To properly commemorate our founders and this important anniversary, UNB is hosting a Petition Celebration in Saint John.  The public is invited to the UNB Saint John Grand Hall, 40 Charlotte Street, for an evening of history, discussion, and even a little controversy.  The evening starts with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dramatic presentation by the 225 Players.  At 7:30 p.m., leaders of New Brunswick’s four public universities will take part in A Conversation: the Future of Our Universities, responding to remarks by Alex Usher, President of the Higher Education Strategy Associates, about the major trends affecting university education. 

“The opportunities and challenges facing New Brunswick’s higher education institutions are remarkable,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell. 

“It is humbling to think that this dream of 225 years ago is still playing an important role in New Brunswick, for us and for our sister institutions across the province.  I look forward to spending an evening talking with my colleagues, and with New Brunswickers, about what the future may have in store for higher education in New Brunswick.”

The University of New Brunswick has come a long way since its fledgling days 225 years ago.  UNB now has more than 12,000 students from more than 100 countries studying on its Fredericton and Saint John campuses, as well as at satellite campuses around the world.  The university contributes more than $200 million annually to the local economy and has more than 64,000 living alumni, half of them right here in New Brunswick.  With 14 faculties offering more than 75 undergraduate and graduate programs, UNB employs more than 3,000 faculty, staff and students, and conducts approximately 80 per cent of university research done in the province.

The Petition Celebration is open to the public, free of charge. 

For more information, visit www.unb.ca/225, or call 506-453-4995.