Holland College carries on the PWC name and tradition in education

Brian McInnis bmcinnis@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on July 30, 2011
From left are Dr. Brian McMillan, college president; John Andrew, president of the alumni executive of PWC; Richard Brown, minister of environment, energy and forestry and Michael O"Grady, vice president responsible for strategic development at the college.

For more than 200 years the name Prince of Wales College has been synonymous with education on P.E.I. and thanks to Holland College renaming its Charlottetown location Prince of Wales Campus that name will live in perpetuity, says John Andrew, president of the alumni executive for Prince of Wales College.

Andrew was among those attending a special renaming ceremony for Holland College in the school’s new Centre of Applied Science and Technology building Saturday. The expanded campus, two years in the making, will be officially opened in August, but school officials felt a special ceremony was needed for the renaming of the campus.

“Speaking on behalf of Prince of Wales Alumni, we are thrilled to see the name Prince of  Wales  perpetuated in the name of Holland College’s downtown campus,” Andrew said during a short talk.

There has been an educational facility on the site since Edward Fanning, the province’s second lieutenant governor, “granted two blocks of his own land to be used for the purpose of laying down the foundation of a college for the education of youth,” Andrew said. Since then, there has been National College, later to be named Prince of Wales College, which stood on the site until 1969 when it and Saint Dunstan’s University merged to become the University of Prince Edward Island. Holland College has occupied the site since 1969.

Michael O’Grady, vice president responsible for strategic development at the college, said the naming “recognizes the post secondary history that has occurred on this site and our immediate predecessor on this site was Prince of Wales College…and the naming is to recognize the importance and the long history of post secondary education on this site.”

The original PWC was located on land bordering Kent, Weymouth and Grafton Streets and in the past two years Holland College has expanded its campus one full city block to border on Edward Street and in so doing gobbled up a portion of Cumberland Street between Kent and Grafton Streets.

O’Grady explained the college is now an integrated two block campus “and the entire campus will be known as Prince of Wales Campus.”

“We will be welcoming students into the two new buildings and onto the new campus during the first week of September,” he said.

“The expansion will allow the school to accommodate approximately 280 additional students and we are expanding some existing programs and adding a couple of new programs – one of them in renewable energy technology and another in heritage carpentry retrofit.”

Province wide there are  about 2,600 students and in the fall there will be 1,600-1,700 students on the Prince of Wales Campus.

John Andrew of the alumni association, said his group is pleased that the architects of the new buildings, North 46, (founded by P.E.I. architect David Lopez and located in Charlottetown.) “have reached into the past to incorporate features of earlier (PWC) buildings into the new buildings.” The college also has plans to restore the original PWC main building that was built in the 1930s.