Caught in a Changing Society: St. Dunstan’s University 1950-1969

by Leonard Cusack

Caught in a Changing Society: St. Dunstan’s University 1950–1969 chronicles the golden years of expansion at an esteemed Catholic university. Campus life was tight-knit, with students participating in sports teams, drama and music performances, social activities, and mandatory classes and religious services under the watchful eyes of the priests and Sisters. With increased enrolment, more resources were needed to build new campus buildings and hire more lay teaching staff. As social mores changed and mini-skirts appeared on campus in the mid-1960s, students demanded freedoms and direct representation, while the administration fought for much-needed government subsidies and faced the challenges of an uncertain future.

With Prince of Wales College becoming a university, Prince Edward Island faced the daunting prospect of supporting two post-secondary institutions. To solve the financial crisis, Premier Alex Campbell mandated the creation of the University of Prince Edward Island. Caught in a Changing Society captures the ensuing debate that led to the closure of the 114-year-old St. Dunstan’s University and the resolve that allowed the institution to evolve into a charitable foundation that has invested more than $32 million into education, infrastructure, and the diocese.

June 2022
Paperback 8×10, 220 pages, $34.95
ISBN: 978-988692-55-5

St. Dunstan’s book highlights eastern PEI characters, The Eastern Graphic, May 25, 2022

Interview with Matt Rainnie, CBC Mainstreet, Wednesday, June 8, 2022

LEONARD CUSACK graduated from St. Dunstan’s University in 1969, has a BEd from UPEI, and an MA in Canadian history from the University of New Brunswick. During his career, Leonard was a high school teacher and principal, a public servant, and a sessional lecturer in history at the University of Prince Edward Island. His previous books include A Magnificent Gift Declined: The Dalton Sanatorium of Prince Edward Island 1913–1923; A Party for Progress: The P.E.I. Progressive Conservative Party 1770–2000; and Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy 1820–2016. Now retired, Leonard and his wife, Catherine, reside in the beautiful community of Emyvale.

Lori Mayne is a writer and researcher with strong ties to UPEI. She obtained her bachelor of arts with honours in history at the Island’s university before completing her master of journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. Now, she teaches writing at UPEI, and writes and edits on a freelance basis. She has previously worked with Leonard Cusack on his books Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy 1820-2016 and A Party for Progress: The PEI Progressive Conservative Party 1770-2000. In 2021, she collaborated with Mo Duffy Cobb on The Chemistry of Innovation: Regis Duffy and the Story of DCL.