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(October 18, 2001, Gazette)

Remembrances of Memorial past...

30 years ago
Two departments move
September and October 1971
— Lack of space causes two university departments to move off campus this fall. The Extension Service moves to King’s Bridge Road and the Personnel Department goes west to the Cumming’s Building on Freshwater Road. Meanwhile, students are having housing problems and University President Lord Taylor says the only long-term solution is building new residences.

At fall convocation, honorary degrees are awarded to Sir Edward Crisp Bullard, a Cambridge University geophysicist; Dr. Leonard Albert Miller, provincial deputy minister of health; and Dr. Don Martindale, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota.

25 years ago
New principal for college
September and October 1977
— Dr. Cyril Francis Poole is principal designate of Memorial’s Regional College at Corner Brook, succeeding Dr. Arthur Sullivan. At the St. John’s campus, Dr. G. R. Peters is appointed associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Dr. James Barnes becomes associate director of the School of Business Administration and Commerce. And in retirements, Dr. E.R. Seary, Henrietta Harvey Professor of English, steps down from his university career.

Automation comes to the Main Library as “zebras” or bar-coded labels are placed on books as part of the library’s automated circulation control system. At fall convocation, Dame Vera Lynn receives a honorary doctor of laws degree. She holds a special place of affection in the hearts of Newfoundlanders who fought overseas with the armed forces in the Second World War. Honorary degrees are also conferred on Frederick William Russell, a prominent businessman; Dr. Philip Edward Lake Smith, archaeologist; Dr. Sylva M. Gelber, director of the Women’s Bureau in the federal Department of Labour; and William Andrew MacKay, vice-president of Dalhousie University and former president of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

20 years ago
Enrollment up
September and October 1982
— Student enrollment increases by more than 11 per cent for first-year students and about 17 per cent for senior division students.

Support for the university’s Extension Service is re-affirmed after an exhaustive three-year review, and Elayne Harris is appointed direct of extension. Meanwhile, subscribers respond to the plight of Decks Awash with supportive letters and subscriptions pouring in to keep the former Memorial University extension magazine alive.

At convocation, honorary degrees are awarded to Aloysius Patrick O’Brien, farmer and linguist; Maurice H. Saval, a pioneer and leader in the excess and special risk insurance field in Canada; Dr. Frederic G. Cassidy, English scholar; and Dr. Jeanne Manery Fisher, teacher, scientist and writer.

15 years ago
Dinosaur bones discovered
September and October 1987
— The first dinosaur bones ever found in the Canadian High Arctic are discovered by a research team from Memorial’s Centre for Earth Resources Research, working this past summer on Bylot Island off the northern coast of Baffin Island. Dr. Elliott Burden and his party make the most northerly find of dinosaur bones ever while collecting samples containing minute fossils of plant spores and pollen.

In other news, Memorial has another record student population but this year the number of full-time students rose by just 1.2 per cent — the lowest rate of increase in several years. Memorial’s Presidential Committee to Review Teacher Education holds its first meeting in September. Five members, a chair and a secretary-co-ordinator have been appointed so far and one more member will be nominated by the Department of Education. Under the chair of Dr. Madeline Hardy, the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of all aspects of teacher education within the jurisdiction of the university. And the university’s Teleconference Centre receives financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency to develop a teleconference system in Jamaica.

At fall convocation three honorary degrees are awarded to: Dr. Joseph Edward Josephson, a prominent Newfoundland pathologist; Dr. Roger Tory Peterson, internationally-renowned ornithologist and illustrator; and Harold Seymour Peters, senior author of The Birds of Newfoundland.

10 years ago
New research on child abuse
September and October 1991
— At the School of Social Work, new research addressing child protection and child abuse will be undertaken with the financial support from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s.

On the St. John’s campus, a major construction project nears completion and occupancy of the extension to the Arts and Administration Building extension will begin this fall. And the university names the first group of Harris Scholars, winners of the Leslie Harris Memorial University Alumni Scholarships, awarded annually to 10 students entering university and valued at $2,500 per year. They are named in honor of past president Dr. Leslie Harris.

Newfoundland businessman Harold Lundrigan is named Alumnus of the Year for 1991. At convocation, honorary degrees are conferred on two distinguished Canadians: journalist Sandra Gwyn and historian/educator Dr. Peter Waite.

Five years ago
Summit of the Sea
September and October 1997
— On Sept. 1 a special convocation to honor Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former president of Iceland, officially kicks off the Summit of the Sea. The summit is an interdisciplinary, multi-focused series of conferences and seminars examining the sustainability development of ocean resources.

Writer Kevin Major is this year’s Alumnus of the Year.

With the help of $500,000 from Petro-Canada, a Young Innovator Awards Program and a research chair in women in science and engineering are launched.

At fall convocation, an honorary degree goes to Rex Murphy, Memorial alumnus and well-known Canadian journalist and commentator.