Designated in 2015 as an Outstanding Historic Event.
Nominator: Mr. Douglas Ballam, WW100 Events Coordinator, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Memorial University of Newfoundland is the only university in Newfoundland and Labrador. It originated as Memorial University College (MUC) in 1925 as a living memorial to the Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans that died in active service during the First World War. The college was the culmination of several years of efforts by educators. In 1919, the Newfoundland Patriotic Association (an independent organization that contributed greatly to the Newfoundland’s war effort), passed a resolution calling for a “Memorial for our sailors and soldiers, in the form of an Education Building which shall raise to a higher level the whole status of education in Newfoundland and materially assist its young people to achieve success in life”.
In 1949, almost immediately after confederation, one of the first acts of the new Provincial Government was to elevate the status of the college to a full-fledged university. In 1961, this desire became reality as the new campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) was opened on Elizabeth Avenue. At that time, the university was rededicated as a living memorial to the war dead of the First and Second World Wars. As a cornerstone for economic and social prosperity, the university began its operation with a simple purpose: to provide university education and its benefits to the province and its people. September 2015 marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Memorial University College and the 66th anniversary of the establishment of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Over the years the university has excelled in its purpose and has touched every aspect of Newfoundland and Labrador society.
Memorial University College, Parade Street, under construction, 1923. From The Rooms Archives.
Memorial University College. Memorial to Newfoundlanders who fell in the Great War, circa 1945. From The Rooms Archives.
Students walk past the reviewing stand during the opening ceremonies for the new MUN campus, 1961. From MUN Digital Archives.
Parade celebrating the opening of the new Memorial University of Newfoundland campus, 1961. From MUN Digital Archives.
Premier J.R. Smallwood addresses the assembly at the opening of the new Memorial University of Newfoundland campus, 1961. From MUN Digital Archives.
Eleanor Roosevelt addresses the assembly at the opening of the new Memorial University of Newfoundland campus, 1961. From MUN Digital Archives.
Lord Thomson being helped into the Chancellor’s robes during his installation as Chancellor of MUN, 1961. MUN Digital Archives.
Audience at the opening ceremony for the new Memorial University of Newfoundland campus, 1961. From MUN Digital Archives.
View of the MUN Arts Building from the southwest, circa 1961. From MUN Digital Archives.
Aerial view of the MUN Arts Building from the south. MUN Digital Archives.