Home > About B.U. > Historical Timeline > Chronology of Bishop’s University Buildings

Listed in alphabetical order:

  • Abbott Hall, 1964
  • Andrew S. Johnson Science Building, 1966
  • Bandeen Hall, 1898
  • Bishop Mountain House, 1963
  • Bishop Williams Hall, 1892
  • Bishop’s College School, 1861
  • Centennial Theatre, 1967
  • Dewhurst Hall, 1966
  • Divinity House, 1892
  • Janyne Hodder Hall, 2023
  • Jasper Hume Nicolls Building, 1963
  • John Bassett Memorial Library, 1959
  • John H. Price Sports and Recreation Centre, 1975
  • John Hamilton Building, 1963
  • Kuehner Hall, 1965
  • Mackinnon Hall, 1959
  • Marjorie Donald House, 1977
  • McGreer Hall, 1846
  • Memorial House, 1950
  • Molson Fine Arts Building, 1990
  • Morris House ca., 1891
  • Munster Hall, 1966
  • Norton Hall, 1950
  • Old Library, McGreer Hall, 1909
  • Paterson Hall, 2004
  • Pollack Hall, 1959
  • St. Mark’s Chapel, 1857
  • W.B. Scott Arena, 1960

Listed from oldest to newest:

McGreer Hall, 1846

This building was named for Arthur Huffman McGreer (1883-1947), Principal from 1922 to 1947. Under his leadership, the curriculum in Arts was greatly strengthened, teaching in experimental science was initiated, enrolment was doubled and financial stability and academic autonomy achieved.


The original central five bays of the Hall were constructed in 1846, and the Lodge at the west end was added in 1847 as the residence of the first Principal. Following the fire of 1876 which gutted the central block, the Hall was rebuilt with improved facilities, and in 1898, thanks to a fund established in memory of Robert Hamilton, it became possible to extend the third floor from the Lodge to the ante-chapel and to add the central tower. In 1908 the Lodge was converted to student and faculty use and in 1909 the Library wing was added.

In 1972 the building was converted for the use of Champlain College. Though the conversion was intended as a temporary emergency measure to meet a severe shortage of space, it was not until 1993 that Champlain was able to move into its own building on campus. It was then possible, with the aid of generous grants from the Canadian and Quebec governments, to restore the Hall to its original dignity.

McGreer Hall, 1909
Rear of McGreer Hall, pre-Old Library addition in 1909.

St. Mark’s Chapel, 1857

Carefully maintained and beautifully preserved, St. Mark’s Chapel was declared Cultural Property by the Quebec Ministère des Affaires Culturelles in 1989. It remains today as an important historical and artistic legacy of the long and significant role of Bishop’s University in the Eastern Townships region.

St. Mark’s Chapel at Bishop’s University was consecrated in 1857 by George Jehoshaphat Mountain, the third Anglican Bishop of Quebec. Funds collected by Jasper Hume Nicolls, the first Principal of the university, made it possible in 1874 to extend the original nave to the south and to add an apse.

St. Mark's is in the Perpendicular Gothic style

St. Mark’s is in the Perpendicular Gothic style, prevalent in England during the Tudor period. The facade, with its fenestration, string course and buttresses, shows the influence of the 13th century’s formal architectural vocabulary. The ogival windows, twinned on the long side and in group of three on the West facade, repeat the same arrangement which can be seen in Salisbury Cathedral. The entrance door, adorned with an ogival arch, is like that of Eton College in Windsor of Trinity College, Cambridge, England. St. Mark’s architecture is close to the type of plan recommended by the Cambridge Camden Society, whose members believed that the Gothic churches built before the reformation should be the inspiration for new religious buildings.

The Chapel was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1891. Corporation decided to rebuild it on the same site, as a memorial to Principal Nicolls, and during the next six years the superb interior furniture and panelling was completed by Sherbrooke cabinet-making firm of George Long. Much of the finer carving is thought to have been the work of his assistant, Georges Bélanger. Made of beautifully crafted Eastern Townships ash, the interior of the chapel is most remarkable for the exquisite quality of the wood sculptures. These include biomorphic finials inspired by the Art Nouveau style, eight kneeling angels represented with different attributes while the North wall of the chapel features the four Evangelists.

In 1992, the Corporation of Bishop’s University authorized the acquisition of a new organ for the Chapel as one of the Sesquicentennial Capital Funding projects. The new, custom-built tracker organ by Karl Wilhelm, of Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, has a case specially designed to complement the interior of the chapel, a configuration that deals with the position of the organ in a chamber to the side of the chapel, and a set of stops appropriate for the Anglican liturgy whilst also suitable for the classic German and French organ literature. Organ concerts are held several times a year and publicized through the local media. The new organ in St. Mark’s Chapel is the finest instrument in the Eastern Townships and will be a valuable cultural asset for generations to come.

The stained glass windows, by the Montreal firm of Spence and Sons, are in the spirit of middle-age craftsmanship, combined with more modern, industrial techniques. Over the door are scenes of the Old Testament, while the apse features the New Testament, the life and death of Christ.

St. Mark’s Chapel is now an ecumenical chapel serving the Bishop’s University and Champlain College community.

Bishop’s College School (Old Johnson), 1861

From 1836 to 1845, the Lennoxville Classical School was located on the corner of Reid Street and College Street. In 1845 the School became Bishop’s College School, and the buildings continued to be used for the Preparatory (elementary) School, while the older boys shared facilities with Bishop’s University. From 1861 to 1922, BCS was located in “Old Johnson” and was also known as “New Arts”, to distinguish it from “Old Arts” (McGreer Hall). This building suffered from fire damage in 1874 and again in 1891. In 1922 Bishop’s College School moved across the river, and became a separate institution from Bishop’s University.

Bishop's College School
On the right, stood the Headmaster’s House which was torn down to make way for the Andrew S. Johnson Science Building in 1966.

Morris House ca., 1891

Lt.-Col Morris, who donated the original forty acres of campus, was a trustee of the college from 1845 to 1850.

The east wing of the House was built before 1891 as an infirmary for the university and for Bishop’s College School. It was converted into two houses for the families of members of the faculty. During the 1970s it was converted into faculty and administration offices, and in 1984 the west wing was built to add more offices for the faculty.

Divinity House, 1892

Divinity House

This building was constructed with the aid of a very generous grant from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in London. It provided rooms for the students in the Faculty of Divinity and quarters for the family of the Professor of Pastoral Theology. The Reverend Doctor Allnatt (1841-1920) was the first person to hold this position.

In 1907, through the generosity of Margaret Stewart McKenzie, a grand-niece of Bishop Charles James Stewart, an Oratory contiguous with the House was constructed and fitted out, as a memorial to the Bishop.

When the Faculty of Divinity was closed in 1970, the Oratory was deconsecrated and the House became a residence for undergraduates. In 1988, it was converted to house administrative and, most recently, faculty offices.

Read the brochure prepared for the Reunion of the Venerable Bede held in 1994.

Bishop Williams Hall, 1892

James William Williams (1825-1892) was appointed headmaster of Bishop’s College School in 1857. In 1863 he was consecrated 4th Anglican bishop of Québec. He participated vigorously in the development of the Protestant public school system in Québec and collaborated with Sir Alexander Galt in drawing up Section 93 of the British North American Act which conferred upon Parliament the responsibility of protecting the educational rights of minorities.

The original hall was built in 1891 from the proceeds of a subscription raised by BCS old boys to mark the 25th anniversary of Bishop Williams’ consecration. It was destroyed by fire later that year, and rebuilt in 1892.

Bishop Williams Hall

Bandeen Hall, 1898

Bandeen Hall in winter

This building was built as a gymnasium for undergraduates and the boys of Bishop’s College School. After the School moved across the river in 1922, the hall was used for assemblies, for dances and as a theatre (with backstage entrance through a window!).

In 1950, the North-facing main door was replaced by the large bay window and the room became the dining-hall for the Norton-Pollack residence complex. From 1971 onward, all meals were served in Dewhurst Dining Hall, and the room again passed into general use, serving in particular as the undergraduate Pub, until Memorial House was converted for that purpose. In 1977, temporary studios for the Fine Arts departments of Champlain College and the University were installed in the hall and adjacent kitchen and storage areas.

In 1990, as a result of the success of the Learning for Life campaign, these areas were converted into classrooms, studios and offices for the University’s Music department, and the hall was converted into a concert hall, which was named for Robert A. Bandeen, Chancellor of the University from 1981 to 1987, and his wife, Mona Blair Bandeen, who have been generous benefactors of music at Bishop’s.

Bandeen Hall

Old Library, 2nd floor of McGreer Hall, 1909

Originally added to McGreer Hall in 1909 to serve as the University Library, it was converted into office space during the 1970’s when McGreer was occupied by Champlain Regional College. After Champlain moved into its own building in 1993, part of the renovations to the historic McGreer Hall included the complete renovation and restoration of the library wing, which had over the years been subdivided into 2 floors and the magnificent wooden ceiling was covered by tiles. Work on the library wing was completed in time for the Sesquicentennial celebrations in 1993-1994, which culminated in a sherry reception for the Governor-General in the newly restored library wing, now known by its former name as the Old Library.

Old Library 1942

The Old Library serves as the centre for the University Archives and the Archives Service of the Eastern Townships Resource Centre. The special collection of books pertain to the history of the Eastern Townships, Canada, and special volumes concerning Bishop’s University. Used year-round by faculty and students, the room is especially popular during the summer months when people from across Canada and the U.S. come to do family research (genealogy).

The room is also used throughout the academic year for lectures, receptions and other special events. The room may also be used simply as a study hall, a quiet place for the entire University community.

Memorial House, 1950

This building was erected in memory of those students and graduates of Bishop’s University who sacrificed their lives in World War I and World War II. Originally built as a gymnasium, its presence gave a great boost to sports at Bishop’s. Athletic activity began to play a major role in the daily life of the students.

There was a stage at the North end of the gym which was used to present plays. The first play performed here was “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Many staging difficulties had to be overcome, such as poor acoustics and lighting as well as minimal backstage space. Play productions moved to Centennial Theatre when it opened its doors in January 1967.

In 1975, after the construction of the John H. Price Sports Centre, the gym was converted to a pub. In 1986, a mezzanine floor was installed, providing space for classrooms. Since the steel framework of the original building was under designed, this new floor had to be supported by its own legs within the original shell.

Norton Hall, 1950

Harry A. Norton was the son of Arthur Osmore Norton, a successful inventor and industrialist in Coaticook, Québec. He served as trustee of the university from 1928 until his death in 1948. Harry Norton was a generous benefactor of the university and of the Sherbrooke Hospital. He left legacies which made possible the construction of Norton Hall at Bishop’s and the Norton nurses’ residence at the Sherbrooke Hospital.

Norton Hall
Norton/Pollack Hall

Pollack Hall, 1959

Pollack Hall

Maurice Pollack was a wealthy merchant of Quebec City and a generous benefactor of educational institutions, including McGill University and l’Université Laval. Through the good offices of Senator Jacob Nicol of Sherbrooke, Mr. Pollack was led to contribute the major part of the funds needed for the construction of Pollack Hall residence.

John Bassett Memorial Library, 1959

The first room specifically designed to house the University’s library was built in 1909, forming the upper floor of the wing at the rear of McGreer Hall. In 1959, a new Library building, named in memory of John Bassett (1886-1958), was erected. Extensions were added in 1971 and 1990 to cope with the growth in collections and undergraduate enrolment.

The library building was extensively renovated in 2017-2018, entirely re-designed to explore the rich intersections between learning, space, and technology. The new Library Learning Commons is at the centre of campus life at Bishop’s as students, faculty, staff and the community take advantage of all the services on offer.

John Bassett Library

John Bassett was President of the Gazette Printing Company. He was a trustee from 1939 until 1958, and Chancellor of the University from 1950 until 1958. In politics a strong and active Conservative, he was throughout his tenure as Chancellor the University’s principal counsellor in financial matters and in relations with the Union Nationale government.

Mackinnon Hall, 1959

Mr. Justice Cecil Gordon Mackinnon (1879-1964) was the son of James Mackinnon, General Manager of the Eastern Townships Bank and trustee of the University from 1904 until 1937.

Mackinnon Hall

C.G. Mackinnon was born in Cowansville, Québec. He received his education at Bishop’s College School and McGill University. In 1934 he was appointed to the bench of the Superior Court where he served for 19 years. In 1938 he took over his father’s seat as a trustee of Bishop’s and served in that capacity until 1962. He was awarded an honorary D.C.L. degree by the University in 1948.

C.G. Mackinnon was also a keen collector of documents relating to the history of the Eastern Townships and made major contributions to the John Bassett Library’s Special Collections.

W.B. Scott Arena, 1960

W.B. Scott Arena

This building replaced a previous covered rink which had been destroyed by fire in 1944. Its completion owed much to the determined advocacy of William Bridges Scott, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Corporation from 1949 to 1956. A graduate of Bishop’s (B.A. 1908) and the son of Archdeacon F.G. Scott (B.A. 1881), “W.B.” had graduated at the top of his class in Law at McGill, served in the infantry in France in 1915, where he lost an eye in action, and established a law practice in Montreal which led to his being appointed Associate Chief Justice of Quebec in 1952.

Over a period of 45 years, as an active member of the Alumni Association and a Trustee of the University, he vigorously promoted participation in team sports as an important element in a Bishop’s education.

Bishop Mountain House, 1963

Bishop’s was founded in 1843 by George Jehoshaphat Mountain (1789-1863), 3rd Anglican bishop of Québec, a diocese which then stretched from New Brunswick to the Red River. During his tenure of 27 years, he visited every mission in his diocese at least once, travelling by canoe, by sail, by sleigh, on horseback and on foot, and he exercised a fearless personal ministry to the sick during terrible epidemics of cholera at Québec and “ship fever” at Grosse Isle.

His purpose in founding the college was “to offer to the country at large the blessing of a sound and liberal education on reasonable terms” and to generate an educated clergy for the Anglican church in Canada. He raised nearly all the original endowment and secured bursaries for most of the first students. In 1853, he and Principal Nicolls succeeded in obtaining the royal charter which raised the college to university status.

Jasper Hume Nicolls Building, 1963

In 1845, the Reverend Jasper Hume Nicolls (1818-1877) was appointed first principal of Bishop’s College. He was raised in the city of Québec and graduated Bachelor of Arts from Oriel College in the University of Oxford. He was a Fellow of Queen’s College, Oxford when he was appointed to his position here. In 1853, along with Bishop Mountain, he was instrumental in obtaining the royal charter which raised the college to the status of a university.

Jasper Nicolls led Bishop’s almost single-handedly for 32 years surviving several financial crises. After his death in 1877, his students said of him, in a formal resolution, “he was most able, kind and patient teacher, an example of everything a Christian gentleman ought to be, and a sympathetic personal friend to each of us”.

Jasper Hume Nicolls Building

John Hamilton Building, 1963

The building is named for John Hamilton (1851-1936), Chancellor of the University from 1900 until 1926.

John Hamilton Building

The Hamiltons were Liverpool timber merchants, established in the city of Quebec since 1807. Charles Hamilton (1834-1919), Bishop of Niagara (1885) and then of Ottawa (1896), served as a member of the College Council from 1867 until 1885.

His brother Robert, who served as a Trustee from 1871 until 1898, was a most generous benefactor and active promoter of the University’s cause; and the Memorial Fund subscribed on his death in 1898 enabled the third floor of McGreer and the tower to be constructed. Robert’s son John was also a generous benefactor, and his son-in-law, R.H. Cole, bequeathed a capital sum in trust for the University which made possible the closing-in of the ground floor to house the Cole Computer Centre in 1978.

Abbott Hall, 1964

This residence was named for the Honourable Mr. Justice Douglas Charles Abbott (1899-1987), a trustee from 1944 until 1973 and Chancellor of the University from 1958 until 1968. A native of Lennoxville, he matriculated at Bishop’s University in 1915. In 1916, before his 17th birthday, he enlisted in and went overseas with the McGill Siege Battery, later transferring to the Royal Flying Corps.

Abbott Hall

After the war, he took a B.C.L. at McGill and practised law in Montreal. He was elected to Parliament in 1940 as member for St. Antoine-Westmount, and he remained in Parliament until 1954, serving as Naval Minister and Minister of Defence during the War, and as Minister of Finance from 1946 until 1954, when he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Prime Minister Louis Saint-Laurent.

Kuehner Hall, 1965

This residence was named for Albert Lincoln Kuehner (1903-1965) Lecturer and Professor of Chemistry from 1925 until 1965 and Vice-Principal from 1951 until 1965. He initiated the systematic study of the experimental sciences at Bishop’s. His proposal to establish an Honours programme in Chemistry was approved by Convocation in 1929, and he was promoted (Full) Professor at the age of 26.

Kuehner Hall

During his tenure as Vice-Principal, he was an active member of the committees which guided the rapid development of the University’s physical plant, and he served as Acting Principal during Principal Jewitt’s illness from 1957 until 1960.

Andrew S. Johnson Science Building, 1966

The building was constructed to provide modern laboratory and classroom facilities for the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

It was named for Andrew Stuart Johnson, Jr. (1900-1968), a trustee from 1928 until 1968, a member of the Executive Committee from 1935 until 1966, and Chairman of that committee from 1956 until 1963. The Johnsons were a family of pioneers in the development of the asbestos deposits at Thetford Mines. Mr. Johnson’s father, a native of Megantic County, founded the family firm in 1885, and Andrew Johnson, Jr. succeeded him as manager of the company in 1926. From 1928 onward he gave generous support in money and equipment to the development of undergraduate laboratories in the science departments at Bishop’s, and he was an effective promoter of the University’s cause among other Townships industrialists.

Johnson Science Building

Dewhurst Dining Hall, 1966

James Dewhurst served the university for 50 years. He retired as Head Steward in 1950 when the dining hall was moved from McGreer Hall to the Norton complex (now Bandeen Hall) where cafeteria style dining was introduced.

Dewhurst Dining Hall

A remarkable character, Jim provided an integral part of a Bishop’s education for generations of undergraduates. Among his many virtues remembered affectionately by students were his imperturbable dignity when on duty; the blind eye which enabled food and drink to be carried out to fuel late night bull sessions, and his cheerful sacrifice of his mustache on the rare occasions when Bishop’s defeated Loyola in football.

Jim loved Bishop’s and he consented to retire only when service in the dining room had to be abandoned. He lived until 1967.

Munster Hall, 1966

Munster Hall

Albert A. Munster was a trustee of the university from 1944 to 1973, a member of the Executive Committee of Corporation from 1944 to 1970 and Vice-President of Corporation from 1947 to 1966. Active in Sherbrooke industrial life and community enterprise he also chaired the committee which supervised the building of the present Sherbrooke Hospital.

Centennial Theatre, 1967

The theatre, the inspiration of Arthur Motyer, Professor of English and Director of Drama, was constructed to celebrate the centennial of the Canadian Confederation.

It was inaugurated in January, 1967 by the Lieutenant-Governor at a special Convocation, presided over by Chancellor Douglas C. Abbott, at which the following six distinguished Canadian representatives of the arts received honorary degrees:

  • Robertson Davies, Author and playwright
  • Celia Franca, Dancer and choreographer
  • Jean Gascon, Actor and director
  • Guy Roberge, Chairman, National Film Board of Canada
  • A.J.M. Smith, Poet
  • Jon Vickers, Singer
Centennial Theatre

In 1992, with the aid of major grants from the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec, the lobby and the theatre offices were greatly enlarged, a gallery and artists’ centre were added, and the stage equipment was completely renovated.

Centennial Theatre

In 2006, on the threshold of its 40th anniversary, the university’s 575 seat auditorium received a $1.5 million makeover. The renovations included new seating, house lights, carpeting, and a new sound system that includes mixing boards, microphones, and lighting allowing for larger productions to be accommodated on campus. The renovations were made possible thanks to the generous support of the Minister of Culture and Communications of Quebec, Heritage Canada, the City of Sherbrooke, the Conférence régionale des élus, and Bishop’s University.

John H. Price Sports & Recreation Centre, 1975

John Herbert Price of Québec City headed the pulp and paper firm of Price Brothers & Company Limited founded by his great-grandfather in 1820. This firm was chiefly responsible for the development of the lumber and paper industry of the Saguenay. He saw action in both world wars, winning a Military Cross in 1918. He served as the surviving senior officer of the Royal Rifles in their defence of Hong Kong in 1941.

John H. Price Sports & Recreation Centre

John Price served Bishop’s for 47 years, as a trustee from 1928 to 1966, a member of the Executive Committee of Corporation from 1928 to 1933, President of Corporation from 1966 to 1968 and Chancellor from 1968 to 1974. He made a major contribution to the success of Bishop’s 1970 financial campaign which made possible the construction of the Sports Complex. In 1975, as President of the Bishop’s University Foundation he generated the Opportunity Fund campaign which raised another $3,000,000.

View the original brochure Welcome to the New Recreation Centre at Bishop’s University.

Marjorie Donald House, 1977

The building was constructed with funds raised by the Opportunity Fund campaign, to provide increased space for student services.

It was named for Marjorie Donald, first woman member of Bishop’s University Corporation, 1968 to 1976, whose energetic involvement and wise counsel were invaluable during a turbulent period in the history of the government of undergraduates at Bishop’s.

Marjorie Donald House

Molson Fine Arts Building, 1990

The building bears witness to the interest of members of the Molson family in the welfare of Bishop’s University over a period of more than sixty years:

Molson Fine Arts Building

Walter Molson, Trustee 1928-1951
John H. Molson, President of Corporation 1947-1966
J. David Molson, Trustee 1965-1968
William M. Molson, Trustee 1968-1976
Eric H. Molson Trustee, 1976-1984

The Molson Family Foundation, together with several members of the family, contributed the major part of the funds required for its construction.

Paterson Hall, 2004

Paterson Hall was inaugurated in 2004. The building is named for Alex Paterson, Class of 1952, DCL 1974, long-time friend and supporter of the university and most recently Chancellor of Bishop’s 1995-2004. Paterson Hall offers students a suite style residence. Each apartment has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a shared living room and kitchen.

Paterson Hall

Janyne Hodder Hall, 2023

Built in 2023, Janyne Hodder Hall is the newest student residence. It was named in honour of Bishop’s University’s first woman principal, and first head of a university in Quebec. This recognized both her leadership of Bishop’s University and her contributions to higher education overall. She was Principal of Bishop’s from 1995 to 2004 and led the University through a period of commotion and calm, and conflict and consensus. Through her focus on student recruitment and retention, she helped it grow while strengthening its commitment to liberal education.