GIBSON, William C.




Author Tags: Education, Physician Author

Dr. William C. Gibson wrote an appreciation of Frank Fairchild Wesbrook, the first president of the University of British Columbia, who was born in Brant County Ontario on July 12, 1868. "The chief value of Dr. Gibson's book," wrote Robin S. Harris in BC Studies, "is that it does provide an accurate and detailed portrait of Frank Wesbrook, an honourable man. It does not, unfortunately, add anything to our knowledge of the University of British Columbia and its relations to the government that is not contained in Harry Logan's Tuum Est."

According to UBC Special Collections: "In 1887, he [Wesbrook] graduated from Manitoba University. Wesbrook received his M.D. in 1890. Subsequently, he spent a year at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin and in 1892, he was elected John Walker student in pathology at Cambridge. He was appointed Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Minnesota in 1895 and in 1906 he became the first full-time Dean of Medicine there. In 1913, he accepted the post of President of the nascent UBC. He guided the University through the first difficult years, hiring a staff and striving to make the University successful. The boom that had lasted for a decade in B.C. collapsed with the outbreak of war in 1914. Work on the new campus begun at Point Grey to replace the Fairview campus used by UBC's predecessor, McGill University College of B.C., was suspended for several years. As a consequence when the University of British Columbia began operations in 1915 it had to do so in the less than adequate facilities. As well as his University activities, President Wesbrook was Officer Commanding the Officers' Training Corp. He helped establish the Vancouver Institute, toured the Province examining its resources and was active in the Patriotic Fund Drive in the Autumn, 1915. Failing health forced him to take a long break in early 1918. He died on 20 October, 1918."

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Wesbrook and His University

BOOKS:

Wesbrook and His University (UBC Press, 1973)
Sherrington: His Life and Thought (Springer, 1979)

[BCBW 2004] "Education"