From the initial aspirations of Bishop Hellmuth to the internationally known research of our top scholars today, these leaders of vision, courage and imagination have always looked to the future in shaping Western University.
Founded on March 7, 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth (1817–1901) of the Anglican Diocese of Huron, ‘The Western University of London Ontario’ opened its doors to students for the first time in 1881 with four faculties – Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine.
In 1916, the current campus was purchased from the Kingsmill family, and in 1923 the university was renamed The University of Western Ontario.
Since that first class graduated in 1883, the university has become a vibrant centre of learning. Through 12 faculties and three affiliated university colleges, Western today offers its 36,000-plus students more than 400 specializations, majors and minors.
It was at Western where Sir Frederick Banting rose from a restless sleep in 1920 and wrote out 25 words that led to his discovery of insulin.
It was at Western where Canada’s first French Immersion program was established at Trois-Pistoles, Québec, in 1932 – a program that continues today.