Comings and Goings: University Students in Canadian Society, 1854–1973


172 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-2442-8
DDC 378.1'983'09713541




Alexander D. Gregor is director of the Centre for Higher Education
Research and Development at the University of Manitoba and co-editor of
Postsecondary Education in Canada: The Cultural Agenda.


The so-called student experience has received increasing scholarly
attention in the last two decades, but consideration has for the most
part been limited to the time spent in formal postsecondary study. Levi
has broadened that perspective by incorporating both the origins of the
students and their lives and careers following graduation.

The student sample comprises members of the executive of the University
College Literary and Athletic Society, at the University of Toronto.
Although this seems a rather limited sample, for the period in question
it does arguably reflect the national cohort of student (and,
subsequently, professional) leaders. The student organization itself was
a significant social and educational influence, and is very usefully
explored. The subsequent career assessments are grouped systematically:
the politicians, the various professions, and “lives in progress.”
Of particular value is the examination made of the place of women (the
“silent ones”) both within the college and in subsequent life and
career paths.

While it is very difficult to infer the specific influences of any
college experience, Comings and Goings provides some intriguing
suggestions about the interplay between that experience and various
social and political currents in the larger society—including the
development of the professions—during the period under consideration.

The book is based on a doctoral dissertation and is, accordingly,
scholarly in tone and content. The study was based on a sophisticated
analysis of data assembled on some 1876 former students. The methodology
is adequately explained, and the book includes a detailed bibliography
and a body of tables summarizing the data under various categories.
Although these elements will be of particular interest and value to
scholars, the main body of the text is presented in a form easily read
by a generalist.


Levi, Charles Morden., “Comings and Goings: University Students in Canadian Society, 1854–1973,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,