The University of Ottawa remembered Roger Guindon Saturday, a man who turned the page from a small Catholic institution into a public, international place of learning.

Guindon has been dubbed a “founding father” of the university, running it for 20 years of transformation.

He passed away Nov. 17 at the age of 92.

“Today we really turn a page of our history, because Father Roger Guindon is the last oblate President of the old university,” said Michel Prevost, the school’s chief archivist.

“He is also the first president of the new University of Ottawa.”

“He also started to internationalize the university, which has become now so important that you can no longer be a ghetto all to yourself – you’ve got to be open to the world,” said former chancellor Huguette Labelle.

Guindon ran an unprecedented fundraising campaign, oversaw construction of 15 new buildings and allowed thousands more students access to education.

“His legacy is this fabulous university, the values and the spirit that inculcated in this place will last forever,” said current President Allan Rock.

Being a priest, Guindon never married and had no children.

Instead, close friends said he fathered a school.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Stefan Keyes