J. Kenneth Bradford

Below is an excerpt from author Orland French’s book, PIONEERING: A History of Loyalist College (1992). While some references are no longer current, the publication provides a rich report on Loyalist’s history, which helps to contextualize its milestones. To read more from Mr. French’s book, please click here

President J. Kenneth Bradford

President J. Kenneth Bradford, 1968

Col. J. Kenneth Bradford was hired in June 1967 to oversee the creation of a College.

And quickly.

Bradford was to have the College “up and running” within three months!

The College was initially located in rented space at Centennial Secondary School in Belleville. Soon the College acquired land on Wallbridge Road, built the Pioneer Building and opened for classes.

Bradford has distinguished himself in World War II as Lieutenant Colonel and Corps Commander. For his service, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire. After the war, he was hired by the University of Toronto and served as placement director for 19 years.

It was a rocky road pursued by Bradford at Loyalist, where much was happening very quickly in what was essentially an experimental stage of development. His self-assured and direct nature, which he regarded as an essential asset, conflicted with the advisory and consultative approach of members of the Board of Governors.

In a 1977 essay on the initiation of the College, Bradford wrote, “As it happened in so many new institutions across the province, under a ‘pressure cooker’ atmosphere of the establishment of a complete college system in two short years, there was somewhat less than perfect communication between the community and its political representatives on the Board…”

Faced with less than perfect communication, in April 1970 the Board accepted Bradford’s resignation after he had served only three years.

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