The Establishment of Memorial University of Newfoundland

Designated in 2015 as an event of provincial significance

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.