King’s expands in size and vision

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King’s University College campus literally doubled in size today after acquiring a little more than 18 acres (seven hectares) of land from the Catholic Diocese of London. The newly obtained property, fronting Waterloo and Huron streets, is located across from the current King’s campus.

“I invite you to dream with us as we plan for a robust future by preserving these lands for the growth of Catholic education,” said 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.”

Camiletti added the new acquisition presents King’s with an outstanding opportunity for the students, faculty and staff “to experience post-secondary education in a dedicated space that meets the future needs of our whole community.” No immediate plan of what will the land will be used for was discussed.

Established in 1954, King’s was the vision of the Diocese of London and Western. 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, incorporating as a separate entity in 2013, representing the maturation of King’s as a major Catholic university in Canada. At that time, the college held title of the lands and buildings on the west side of Waterloo Street and north of Epworth Avenue.

Today’s transfer of diocesan lands, under discussion since 2014, was approved by the Vatican and King’s Board of Directors earlier this fall.

Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, Bishop of London, said 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 said.

Kelly Regan, Chair of King’s 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,” she said. “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, the King’s University College Foundation announced the launch of their $15M fundraising campaign, Imagine the Future. Matthew Thuss, chair of the Foundation Board, said the campaign already has the full support of the King’s Alumni Association, King’s senior leadership and the support of students who have all made generous commitments.

The alumni association has committed $300,000 and the King’s University College Students’ Council has committed $5 million.

“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,’ said Hadia Fiaz, King’s student council president.

Quick Facts

  • 18.151 acres.
  • Property fronts Waterloo and Huron streets.
  • Acquisition doubles land size of King’s University College.
  • Includes St. Thomas Aquinas Residence, which will be leased back to the Diocese of London (until August 2019)
  • Includes small residential house.
  • Does not include St. Peter’s Seminary building nor the Diocese of London office building.