TREE OF EDEN, TOWER OF BABEL: The Controversy Over the Establishment of St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan 1913-1936
Sanche, Margaret Frances
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St. Thomas More College was established as a Catholic college at the University of Saskatchewan in 1936 after twenty-three years of effort and controversy within the Saskatchewan Catholic community. The present thesis describes the events leading up to the establishment of this educational institution and examines the disagreements between the French and Irish or English-speaking Catholics over the kind of higher education which would best serve the needs of the Catholics of Saskatchewan. The conflicts between the two groups within the Saskatchewan setting are found to be related to interethnic antagonisms which developed between these groups in eastern/central Canada prior to and during the settlement period in the Prairie West. The controversy over Catholic higher education in Saskatchewan is also explored in terms of individuals and groups who came to Saskatchewan from eastern Canada and Europe. bringing with them mental images or models of higher education which they hoped to see duplicated in Saskatchewan. The French-Canadian bishop of Regina advocated one Catholic university for Western Canada. while the Irish/English-speaking laity of the Saskatoon area wanted to establish a Catholic college in affiliation/ federation with the University of Saskatchewan. For his part. the university president hoped to have a Catholic college affiliated with the university. in order to maintain a strong provincial institution and avoid the decentralized model of higher education which had emerged in the Maritimes. The founding of a Chair of Scholastic Philosophy in 1926 and STM in 1936 are also examined within the context of the history of the university. the development of other institutions of Catholic higher education in western Canada. and the economic. political and social development of Saskatchewan between 1913 and 1936. The thesis concludes with a summary of the 1936 negotiations between Basilian Superior-General Henry Carr and University President Walter Murray for the establishment of St. Thomas More College as a federated college at the University of Saskatchewan.