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June 18, 2010


Cake cutting at 90th anniversary garden party

Photo credit: John Tamblyn
Left to right) Sr. Frances Ryan, Council of Trustees Co-ordinator Sara Steers, and Principal Colleen Hanycz perform the ceremonial cutting of the cake at the “Brescia in Wonderland” garden party on June 17 in celebration of Brescia University College’s 90th Anniversary.











Brescia closes year of 90th Anniversary celebrations with garden party

London, ON – The beautiful grounds of Brescia University College were transformed into “Brescia in Wonderland” on June 17 for a garden party that brought an elegant close to a year of events marking the 90th anniversary of Canada’s only women’s university.

Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Principal, opened the ceremonial part of the event by welcoming about 150 guests, including Ursuline Sisters from London and Chatham, alumnae, volunteers, and faculty and staff members with their families.

“The Ursuline community ‘back in the day’ was far from what you’d call typical for the time…When this group of young women insisted on working among the people around them, you can imagine the controversy that followed! Fortunately, throughout history the Ursuline Sisters have continued to embrace the unconventional and that is most certainly what led to the establishment of their many good works, including Brescia University College, 90 years ago!” Hanycz said.

Standing between historic Ursuline Hall and the more modern St. James Building, Council of Trustees Chair Sara Steers commented on the importance of Brescia as a special place. “The Romans spoke of ‘genius loci’ or ‘spirit of place’ and believed that all places had a guardian spirit that engendered life…As we celebrate the ‘sense of place’ created by Brescia’s founders we also celebrate the relationships between landscape, open space, built forms, and people who brought it to life and fostered a space so the young women coming through this ‘place’ would flourish. This place is a community like no other.”

The keynote was delivered by Sr. Frances Ryan, former principal, whose stories about Brescia’s past, present, and future were told through a literary looking glass. “Wherever Brescia’s women go we will see good things happen. We will see light and wisdom shared. We will see responsibilities accepted and fulfilled. We will see faith and goodness triumph. We will see Brescia Bold stamped on our world!” 

While adults exchanged stories and memories, accompanied by Celtic harpist Jennifer White and percussionist Robert MacMaster, the children were treated to a magic show and balloon animals by Dotsy’s Entertainment, croquet, face painting, and other activities. 

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Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room at

For more information, please contact:

Jim Mei
Director of Library Services, and Chair of 90th Anniversary Planning Committee
Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28296