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The Depression and World War II
(1929 - 1945)


“Professor Winspear thinks the Department of Accounting should be called the Department of Commerce, and expand its teaching of Business Administration and other applied subjects, e.g., Personnel Management, Industrial “Engineering”, etc.” 

President Robert Newton, June 21, 1944

With the end of World War I in 1918, it appeared that the University of Alberta and, by extension, the School of Business would return to a process of growth and maturation.  However, within less than a decade, the world was to endure two major calamities – the Depression of 1929 and the outbreak of World War II in 1939.  Chapter II, then, provides an overview of how these events impinged on the development of both the University and the School of Business.

    Council meetings, the 3rd to 49th, were held during this time and provide a succinct overview for the period, 1929-45.  Needless to say, they will not be covered in great detail except where major issues were discussed.  As well, in order to provide some historical perspective, the time taken up by two early Council Meetings will be noted – the fourth meeting (November 15, 1929), 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and the fifth meeting (February 7, 1930), 3:30 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.

Evergreen and Gold for 1930 again contained a one page description of the Commerce Club.  In part, the article stated
    “The idea conveyed by the word Commerce is that of growth and expansion.  Though the School of Commerce here is as yet very young, it is a lusty infant whose membership is growing by leaps and bounds, as an increasing proportion of new students turn their eyes toward the extensive and varied field of business.  Technically we are but a sub-faculty; yet in spirit we are already more, and the time is undoubtedly near when we shall be regarded as equals by the five older faculties of the University ….”

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"My own impression is that we should look forward in the not distant future to some organization corresponding to a School of Commerce of which this might very well form a part. Commercial Departments in connection with Universities have so far not been successful in Canada, although I believe that after some years now the one at McGill is making some progress."

- Dr Tory, First President of the UofA
16 January 1919