King's doubles in land with acquisition of Diocesan property
King’s University College and the Diocese of London are pleased to announce the transfer of 18.152 acres of land from the Diocese to King’s. As a result, King’s will acquire the lands east of Waterloo Street and north of Huron Street which front St. Peter’s Seminary in North London adjacent to the College. This acquisition by King’s doubles the campus land size and provides promise for the future.
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, CSB, Bishop of London says the land transfer was initiated by the Diocese and done in a spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit to assure the continuing growth and prosperity of King’s as a leading institution of Catholic higher education in Canada. “This transfer of lands will enable us, in new ways, to continue the vision of my predecessors, especially Bishop Michael Fallon, who aimed to create a hub of Catholic learning and formation in Southwestern Ontario,” he says.
Established in 1954, King’s University College was the vision of the Diocese of London and Western University. When King’s was founded as Christ the King College, it was formally owned and governed by the Diocese, which had set aside 11 acres and constructed a building to assist in the fledgling educational institution. In 1972, King’s took responsibility for the overall operations and governance of the College. The College was then incorporated as a separate entity in 2013, representing the maturation of King’s as a major Catholic university in Canada, with the College taking title of the lands and buildings on the west side of Waterloo Street and north of Epworth Avenue. This further transfer of diocesan lands, which has been under discussion since 2014, was approved by the Vatican and by King’s Board of Directors this fall. The transfer was recently completed after various government regulatory processes were completed.
“I invite you to dream with us as we plan for a robust future by preserving these lands for the growth of Catholic education,” notes Dr. Sauro Camiletti, King’s Interim Principal and Academic Dean. “This transfer is transformational for King’s as a leading Catholic institution in the county. Together, with the Diocese of London, we have preserved the original intent and zoning of these lands for educational purposes. In short, this presents us with an outstanding opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to experience post-secondary education in a dedicated space that meets the future needs of our whole community.” Dr. Camiletti thanks the Diocese for providing King’s with this opportunity.
Further, Dr. Kelly Regan, Chair of the King’s University College Board of Directors, commended the shared vision of the Diocese of London and King’s administration, students, faculty and staff. “It is vital and important that we all work together to maintain these lands for educational purposes, as they were originally intended. This is a historic day as together we strengthen the important relationship between King’s and the Diocese of London.”
As part of the land transfer announcement, the King’s University College Foundation launched a fundraising campaign, Imagine the Future. Matthew Thuss, Chair of the Foundation Board, says the campaign already has the full support of the King’s Alumni Association, the senior leadership of King’s University College, and most importantly, the support of students who have all made generous commitments. “The goal of the campaign will ultimately be $15M. We are fortunate in that we have the full support of the Foundation Board, the College Board, and Senior Administration, many of whom have made personal financial commitments to support the campaign. The Alumni Association has committed $300,000 and the student body as represented by the King’s University College Students’ Council, has demonstrated strong dedication to their school with a commitment of $5 million.”
Hadia Fiaz, President of the King’s University College Students’ Council, says students are excited to take part in envisioning the future of King’s. “We recognize that future generations of students will benefit from the legacy we leave today, just as our predecessors did for us in the building of this wonderful College over the past 65 years.”
The lands transfer also includes St. Thomas Aquinas House residence in the far eastern section. It will be leased back to the Diocese until August 2019. It also includes a small house near Huron Street. It does not includes the offices of the Diocese of London on Waterloo Street nor St. Peter’s Seminary building.
King’s and the Diocese celebrated the transfer with a special event on October 29th on the lands. It included remarks from Bishop Fabbro, CSB, Dr. Camiletti, Dr. Regan, Mr. Thuss and Ms. Fiaz. As well, the King’s University College Chamber Choir entertained the gathered crowd of more than 100 members of the King’s community along with invited dignitaries, guests and neighbours.