In For the People James Cameron charts the insitutional development of St. Francis Xavier University from 1853 to 1970 and illustrates how the college has become an integral part of eastern Nova Scotia's history and culture. Basing his research on documentary and oral sources, Cameron describes the early nineteenth-century migration on the Highland Catholic Scots, the settlement and development of their communities, and the founding of St. F.X. as a means of religious, economic and social advancement in eastern Nova Scotia.
The formation of the Extension Department, Xavier Junior College (now University College of Cape Breton) and the Coady International Institute stand out as pivotal events in the history of St. F.X. and demonstrate its attunement to the changing needs of its constituency. The move to broaden the curriculum by including extension education and the promotion of of various forms of economic cooperation to stimulate development in regional and international communities exemplify the unifying theme of "for the people" which is at St. F.X.'s foundational core.
For the People presents an engaging account of the fascinating personalities who administered and staffed the institution, its successes and failures during the nineteenth century and its expansion and progress in the twentieth century.
James D. Cameron is a professor of history at St. Francis Xavier University.