For those of you who don’t know me, I spend my Thursdays volunteering at the Centre of Social Innovation - Spadina, which is located right in the heart of Chinatown (FYI if you haven’t seen my snaps, this hood is filled with the cutest dogs in the 6ix!). Over the past six months of my volunteering here, I’ve introduced myself to a wide range of people either working at or visiting the space, including a Vice news crew, several local politicians and environmental activists, some Nobel Prize winners and more. Often when I introduce myself as a student at Glendon College, the response I get, nine times out of 10, is: “Glendale? Where’s that?” Or, just as common: “London? You mean Western? My sister/best friend/dog walker’s second cousin went there!” And I know I’m not the only one, so I’m writing this article for all my ‘Glendale’ peers to ‘bring it on’ with the facts the next time someone asks what Glendon is!
Established in 1959, Glendon was the foundation from which York University grew. Hard to believe all that concrete and glass over at Keele sprang from our forested haven, eh? For this beautiful campus of ours, we have one Edward Rogers Wood to thank. Wood was a prominent financier in the twentieth century Canadian business world, whose manor and estate was willed by his wife, Euphemia "Pheme" Wood, for the purposes of higher education. The story has it that Glendon was donated to the University of Toronto with the intent for it to be used as a university (not public) botanical garden. In 1961, after 10 years of mixed academic use, U of T turned over the estate to its newly created affiliate, York University. How about that for celebrating the fantastic displays of flora we’re gifted with each turn of season. After all, between the old-world splendor of the manor and the Narnia-like aesthetic of our forests and paths, our incredible campus is the reason why so many choose to call Glendon home in the first place!
But I digress, as we should all hopefully know, Glendon is one of York’s 11 colleges, but what many likely do not know is that our college was modelled after another small-scale liberal arts faculty, Swarthmore College. Incredibly tight-knit (one might even say cliquey) due to its small size, Glendon student life has many pros and cons. As of right now, we have an undergraduate enrollment of 2,700. Within that small undergrad group, we have an incredible mix of clubs, levy organizations and teams to choose from. And for all of us who decide that mere bilingualism isn’t enough, Glendon offers a Spanish Resource Centre, a joint initiative between York University and the Ministry of Education in Spain.
A few other super cool facts about Glendon: we’ve had films like the Time Traveller's Wife filmed on campus and I think we’ve all seen that photo of a student posing next to Adam Sandler at our very own Glendon Athletic Centre (say what you want about his acting skills, at least he hasn’t been rocked by any scandals, unlike Hedley, who have also filmed at our school). Glendon even has a fancy Latin motto: alteri sæculo, meaning “for future generations”. Some of our notable alumni include: Christopher Hume, an architecture critic for the Toronto Star; John McNe, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations; disgraced CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi; and a good chunk of our 225 administrative staff, who seem to have decided that four years in this tight-knit community just wasn’t enough!
In spite of all that has happened this year (and there’s been a lot!), I find myself feeling a bit melancholic about my final weeks here at Glendon. So, to wrap up this vanity piece (and what may very well be my final article for Pro Tem as Campus Life Editor, if this strike happens and lasts), I want to ask all my fellow Glendonites: what does Glendon mean to you?
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