The hidden date for this stamp can be found beside the statue.
Located in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, St. Francis Xavier University enjoys a number of distinctions. It was the first Catholic co-educational university in North America to grant degrees to women; it boasts a number of 'unique' programs that qualify as North American 'firsts'; and its stylized 'X' school ring is called "one of the most easily identifiable rings in the world." On April 4, 2003, Canada Post will mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of St.Francis Xavier University with a single domestic rate ($0.48) stamp available in a booklet of 8.
The early days
St. Francis Xavier University (St FX) was founded in 1853 in Arichat, Cape Breton by Bishop Colin MacKinnon in response to the need for pastoral clergy. Two years later, the school was moved to Antigonish. Full university powers were conferred upon the college in 1866 by an act of the Nova Scotia legislature and St FX then began to grant the Bachelor of Arts degree.
A look at St FX today
Currently, about 3,700 students are enrolled in arts, science, business and information systems, and applied programs. St FX is committed to providing the highest standards for its faculty and students, and sees its role as that of providing an excellent undergraduate education in a close-knit residential setting. It boasts small classes, a 16-to-1 student-faculty ratio, and one of the highest proportions of tenured faculty teaching undergraduates in Canada. St FX lists several of its programs as 'unique,' including Aquatic Resources, Celtic Studies, Catholic Studies, and Jazz Studies. Currently, a $63 million revitalization program is underway to add new facilities and resources, strengthen the residential campus, and enhance learning opportunities and support for students.
X-Men and X-Women
St FX has an enviable record in varsity athletics, with teams that are often regional and national contenders. Men's varsity sports are basketball, cross-country, football, hockey and soccer, while men's rugby is a club team. Women's varsity teams are basketball, cross-country, soccer, volleyball, hockey and rugby.
About the stamp's design
The St FX University stamp is one in an ongoing series of university stamps designed by Denis L'Allier of Montreal. These stamps share several common elements: the school colours, a campus building and the institution's coat-of-arms. Featured on this stamp is a photo of Xavier Hall taken by Guy Lavigueur.