McMaster’s 127th birthday

Blowing out the candles might make things a little smokey – there would be 127, after all – so we’ll keep our celebration digital.

April 23 marked the 127th anniversary of McMaster’s birth as a world-class institution.

That’s the day in 1887 on which the bill uniting Woodstock College and Toronto Baptist College into the new McMaster University received royal assent.

McMaster Hall, as it appeared near the end of the 19th century. The building, at 273 Bloor Street West in Toronto, is now the Royal Conservatory of Music.

At the urging of his wife, Susan Moulton McMaster, businessman, politician and banker Senator William McMaster endorsed the campaign for an independent Baptist institution offering both theology and liberal arts.

On April 7, 1887, McMaster made out a will leaving an endowment of $900,000 for the university. He died only months later.

The university chose official colours (maroon and grey) in 1912 and moved to Hamilton
in 1930. It currently has a student population of more than 24,000, approximately
21,000 of which are undergraduate students.

McMaster celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2012 with a number of events and activities, including the burying of a time capsule in between Alumni Memorial Hall and Edwards Hall. The capsule will be retrieved in 2062.