The London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC), originally the London House Association of Canada, was formed in 1951 as a nationwide association of former residents and supporters of London House and (later) William Goodenough House, two uniquely different residences for postgraduates located in Mecklenburgh Square in the west end of London. In turn, these residences are part of Goodenough College, (formerly the London Goodenough Trust for Overseas Graduates), which was established in 1931 to provide accommodation in a congenial academic setting for single and married graduate students from the Commonwealth and the United States of America.
Goodenough College is now open to postgraduates from around the world. Canada's Hart House at the University of Toronto is said to have provided part of the inspiration for the founding of the parent London Goodenough Trust by Sir Frederick Goodenough, the then-chairman of Barclays Bank, who visited Canada in the 1920s.
From the outset, Canada has made a very real contribution to the Trust in terms of the significant number of Canadian postgraduates who have resided there and the financial support Canadians have provided the College over the years. The membership of the LGAC currently numbers about 1000, is spread across Canada, and represents a wide variety of academic disciplines, professions and businesses. The Canadian academic, business and professional worlds are well stocked with LGAC "alumni" - a reflection of both of the calibre of the postgraduates who reside in the College's residences and how the Mecklenburgh Square experience rubs off on them.
In its earliest years the LGAC provided financial support for building and renovation campaigns for the premises in London. However, beginning in the early-1990s, as the College itself got on a firmer financial footing, the focus switched to allocating the income from a growing investment portfolio and other fundraising activities to residential scholarships for deserving Canadians proceeding to London for postgraduate study. Awarded on the basis of academic achievement and expected contribution to life in Mecklenburgh Square, our scholarships have become an integral part of the LGAC's reason for being. Please refer to Scholarship Program section for full details on a cumulative investment that now totals well over $250,000 - with the resolve to add to the value of these scholarships and to keep them growing. In 1995, the mounting demand for these scholarships prompted the LGAC to launch a Corporate Sponsorship Program directed at internationally-minded Canadian companies. This particular program has come under great pressure as economic conditions have deteriorated, but to those who have stayed with us - and also joined us as new sponsors - we are most grateful.
No mention of the LGAC would be complete without paying tribute to Walter Bilbrough, our Founding Patron and longstanding director who passed away on April 24, 2000 in his 93rd year. The first Canadian to live at London House at its inception, Walter embodied what the Trust and the LGAC are all about. He always maintained that the friendships he established on Mecklenburgh Square, and the encouragement given him by the likes of Frederick Goodenough were key influences in his life.
In a tribute, Sir Anthony Goodenough, Britain's High Commissioner to Canada from 1996 to 2000, recalled how excited he was to meet Walter, who knew the grandfather he himself had never known. Sir Anthony noted that Walter's support of the London Goodenough Trust "helped maintain and strengthen the solid fabric of Canadian/British friendship in which he took such pleasure".
Walter's biography The Unexpected and the Unplanned is a piece of London Goodenough history that is available through us for $20 plus $4 for shipping and handling, with the proceeds to be added to our Scholarship Fund, according to Walter's wishes. To order the book, download the Book Order Form (Word document) and send it to us with your cheque. The foundations have been laid, sound links established and the torch passed. Now, it is on to a new era and a second half century in which the parent College can make an even more distinctive world mark - and the LGAC can build on its investment in a better future Canada!