Ursuline Hall, Brescia University College

Our History

Brescia University College began with an important mission led by the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, Ontario in 1919. These bold and courageous women responded to a request from Bishop Michael Fallon to take the lead in creating a women’s only university, rooted in the Catholic faith and the first of its kind in Canada.

With a passionate commitment to social justice, community service and the development of women at the forefront, over the past 100 years Brescia has grown from seven students to over 1,500 students.

For over a century, Brescia continues to embrace the founding mission of the Ursuline Sisters by providing a student-centred education to its bold students. And, continuing to inspire them to lead with wisdom, justice and compassion in a changing world.

Brescia University College at 556 Wellington Road

Early Days at Brescia

Between 1919 and 1925, the University was located in a converted house near Victoria Park at 556 Wellington Street in London, Ontario. As Brescia expanded, students, faculty and staff relocated to what is now known as Ursuline Hall at 1285 Western Road. This move was just the beginning of a growing university. In September 2019, Brescia opened a new $14 million dollar building, the Academic Pavilion.

The Beginning of Bold Education

Historically, Brescia’s primary programs and teachings were focused in the Liberal Arts specifically in Languages, History and Religion. Students had the opportunity, and continue, to take courses at Western University in multiple areas of study. Currently, there are 25 diverse programs offered, housed within four distinctive Schools of study at Brescia. They include: School of Humanities, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, School of Behavioural & Social Sciences and School of Leadership & Social Change.

First Brescia graduates
Students at Brescia University College

Celebrating Diversity

Since inception, diversity and inclusion were always valued and embraced at Brescia. Students were immediately welcomed from the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. Today, the University continues to celebrate a diverse campus as 13% of Brescia’s full-time students come from 36 countries around the world.

Brescia’s Crest

In the early 1920’s Brescia’s crest was designed with the motto of truth and faith.

“The Truth which it is the aim of education to pursue is to be acquired in an atmosphere of living Faith, and under the aegis of Faith.”
  1. torch
      At the top of the dividing cross, the Torch of Faith and Knowledge leads the university to heavenly rewards represented by the crown and stars.
  2. crest
      Representing St. Ursula, Virgin and Martyr, Patroness of the Ursuline’s. Leading many matrons with her to the glory to preserve their virginity.
  3. torch
      The Mystical Rose, symbol of Our Lady, Model of womanhood.
  4. The Book
      The Book, symbol of the wisdom of this world and of the next.
  5. crest
      Symbols of faith, hope and charity, the Crest of the Ursuline’s of Chatham.