October 29 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 33  

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Western blows out 125 candles

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Joyce Wang/Gazette
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, I CAN GLOAT IF WANT TO, GLOAT IF I WANT TO, GLOAT IF I WANT TO, YOU WOULD GLOAT TOO IF IT HAPPENED TO YOU. London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco and Western President Paul Davenport celebrate the 125th anniversary at The Great Hall Tuesday.

Hundreds gathered at The Great Hall in Somerville House yesterday to celebrate Western's 125th birthday and eat free cake.

"The University of Western Ontario has always been and always will be an integral part of London," said London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco during her address at the celebration, adding the university has greatly contributed to a strong relationship with the community over the last 125 years.

"We see no reason why a young man should go to Toronto or Kingston for a university degree," stated an actor portraying Western founder Bishop Isaac Hellmuth.

"The bishop's presence reminds us of our humble beginnings," said Western President Paul Davenport, noting 125 years ago Western was an underfunded offshoot of Huron College. "We were dependent upon the Anglican Church -and the City of London," he added.

According to Davenport, the dependence on the city for support developed into a strong relationship which has lasted until today. "We must never forget those local roots," he said.

Davenport also pointed out the accomplishments of the university over the years. "I don't think any of you have to be reminded what we have accomplished," he said, citing more students have been recruited, Western's entrance average has increased to 83 per cent, graduates are flocking to the school for research and more faculty have been recruited since Western's last major growth spurt during the 1960s.

"It was great to see so many students were out at the event," said University Students' Council President Paul Yeoman, noting he was pleased Western administration sent an e-mail inviting all students to the celebration.

"[I came] to celebrate the 125th anniversary; I came [to Canada] as an exchange student so it's all new to me. I'm very interested with all of the people who came [and spoke]," said fourth-year economics student Joohye Kim.

"I had no food in my fridge, so I'm totally indulged," said second-year political science student Ciara Gawdiak-Smyth of the free food that was offered.




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