Much of the green space that is in front of St. Peter’s Seminary is being turned over to King’s University College, which is the neighbouring property, left in the photo. Photo courtesy King’s University College

King’s University College doubles down on its future

  • November 12, 2018

King’s University College has taken a big step into its own future by doubling the size of its campus footprint.

The Catholic college affiliated with Western University in London, Ont., has bought an 18.152-acre plot of land from the Diocese of London. The transfer was marked by an Oct. 29 celebration on the property which fronts St. Peter’s Seminary adjacent to the college.

“That land is our land and it has opened up the future for us and has provided us with all kinds of options down the road,” said Dr. Sauro Camiletti, King’s Interim Principal and Academic Dean.

The purchase price has not been released, but Camiletti said the funds will come from the new Imagine the Future fundraising campaign launched by the King’s University College Foundation. The goal is to raise $15 million to offset the purchase price, fund scholarships and other student supports. 

The campaign is off to a fine start as the student council has already committed $5 million and the Alumni Association has pledged another $300,000.

The diocese will also transfer another 15 acres of land to neighbouring St. Peter’s Seminary, including the seminary building. In a statement, Bishop Ronald Fabbro said the transfer will continue the vision of his predecessors, Bishop Michael Fallon in particular, in their aim to create “a hub of Catholic learning and formation in Southwestern Ontario.”

Camiletti said the land purchase protects King’s and ensures its viability in the future.

“If you don’t acquire the land then another party will and that party may be a commercial agent or a residential development, all kinds of things that could threaten the mission of the college and severely restrict our ability to expand,” he said.

King’s is home to about 3,600 students with more than 400 full and part-time faculty. There are no concrete plans to expand the campus just yet, said Camiletti, but a university is a place that is always evolving and developing new programs. The new land gives the school some breathing room for the future, as well as continuing to meet the needs of today’s students.

“What new land does for us is it gives us the opportunity to design space that serves the kinds of functions that are more current and the ones we’ll need in the future,” he said. 

Camiletti expects the new property will eventually house new academic buildings, space for student activities and continued greenspace, as well as being a welcoming place for its neighbours. 

“That whole process of developing that land will take a great deal of time,” he said.

King’s was founded in 1954 under the name Christ the King College and was owned and governed by the diocese until 1972 when the college took responsibility for the overall operation and guidance. It was incorporated as a separate entity in 2013. 

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