The University of Winnipeg (U of W) Collegiate, a private high school located on the U of W campus, has been around since 1873. Though it is often overshadowed by the university, it has a long and rich history. The newly released podcast series Hallowed Halls is about exactly that.
Isaac Würmann, a Collegiate alum, writer and journalist, is the podcast’s producer and host.
“I really enjoyed my time at the Collegiate, and ... I really appreciated the openness, diversity and willingness to try out different things that wouldn’t be encouraged to do in a normal high-school setting,” he says.
“I wanted to focus on the background to that creative spirit of the Collegiate (and) what led the school to become that way,” Würmann says.
The Collegiate has certain features that make it unlike many other high schools. For instance, it follows the regular university schedule (going only from September to April), and students are able to take university courses.
Würmann says the institution also emphasizes social justice, a theme explored in many of the podcast’s episodes.
“The school has strong roots in the social gospel tradition, but, of course, lots has changed over the past hundred years,” he says.
Hallowed Halls, which was released earlier this year, comprises six main episodes plus an introduction and epilogue. Guests on the podcast include current faculty members, notable alumni, recent graduates and others.
Among them is Devin Latimer, Collegiate alumni and U of W chemistry instructor.
“The U of W’s been my home for a long, long time,” he says, chuckling.
Latimer and his sister were interviewed for “Episode 4: The Best Kept Secret.” In the episode, he discusses his experience moving to Winnipeg from a small town to attend the Collegiate.
“For us coming here ... it was kind of like arriving in New York City,” Latimer says. “At the same time, what comes across fairly quickly once you’re there for a little while is that it’s kind of like a small town to itself.”
Latimer fondly remembers his time as a student at the Collegiate and, in particular, his teachers.
“They knew you personally, they put in a little extra time, and there were some really good teachers there that made a huge impact on me,” he says.
Throughout the series, Würmann introduces listeners to people like Latimer, all of whom have interesting stories and anecdotes about their experience at the Collegiate. Conveying the deep sense of history seems to be this podcast’s guiding theme.
“The title Hallowed Halls really invokes the idea that these are hallways that hundreds of people have walked through before (us), and that there’s this real sense of tradition, history and reverence for these stories,” Würmann says.
Hallowed Halls is available for streaming on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or at isaacwurmann.com/hallowed-halls.
Published in Volume 75, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 25, 2021)