The founding of the school was one of the first great ideas. Carleton College started in 1942 as a school offering night courses for academic credit. Things started to ramp up in early 1944. That’s when higher-ups in the federal government contacted Henry Marshall Tory, the college’s founder, with a novel proposition. The government was looking forward to the end of the Second World War and needed to plan for the re-entry of one million servicemen and women into civilian life.
Photos by Carleton University Archives
According to authors Blair Neatby and Don McEown, who wrote Creating Carleton: The Shaping of a University, the university program was attractive because it would keep some veterans out of the labour market during a period of post-war reconstruction while improving their skills and qualifications. That sense of purpose intrigued Tory. By the fall of 1944, the school had become a degree-granting institution, hosting its first convocation two years later.
That responsive instinct continues—over the years, the university has developed a number of programs that answer the changing needs of society and the economy, including a technology innovation management program and a bachelor of information technology degree.