January 14, 2010

Now that's old school!

Here is a short promotional video for Queen's University that was made in the early 1940s. I am not sure of the exact date but the film makes reference to the "recent" visit of FDR, which was in 1938 and it also features Principal Wallace, who was our fearless leader from 1936-1951. You'll have a good laugh at the music, typical for the time, and snicker uncomfortably at the gender-biased language.

Still, for all of the use of "men", "man" and "him", there is a definitely a sense that women were an important part of Queen's during the period. Women are referred to and pictured quite a few occasions in the film, which is not really all that surprising since women were first admitted to degree programs at Queen's in 1878, well ahead of many of our Canadian and American peers (the first 2 women in Ontario to receive university degrees graduated from Queen's!).

In any event, "Paths of Learning" is terribly dated in so many ways but it remains an important artifact of social history. As a graduate of Queen's this film also links me to part of our history and tradition, which I find interesting, warts and all.

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