Please Enter a Search Term

Macpherson College

New Residences

Macpherson College provides students with independent living accommodations along with guidance and support from the in-house Residence Life team, in order to encourage a successful transition from life at home. Accommodations consist of private bedrooms with semi-private washrooms, and each floor includes a community lounge and meeting/ study space.

Within Macpherson College, Shiwak and Cluett Halls each have a full complement of Residence Life staff, including a residence co-ordinator, resident assistants and an academic assistant.


Naming the Residences

To determine names for the new residence complex, a committee was formed in December 2013. Led by Deputy Provost (Students) and Associate Vice-President (Academic) Undergraduate Studies Dr. Cecilia Reynolds, the committee conducted internal and external consultation. Following consultations, and guided by general naming principles provided by the Vice-Presidents Council (VPC), the naming committee made their recommendations to VPC. At its meeting on Apr. 8, 2014, VPC endorsed the committee’s recommendations for naming the new residence complex.


Macpherson College

Dr. Cluny Macpherson was born in St. John’s on March 18, 1879. He graduated with a medical degree from McGill University in 1901, and in 1902 returned to St. John’s, where he was commissioned by the government to travel to Labrador to eradicate a smallpox epidemic. Upon comple- tion of that task, he accepted appointment as chief medical officer at the Grenfell hospital at Battle Harbour. Two years later he set up a private medical practice in St. John’s but continued to serve rural communities when called upon. Dr. Macpherson joined the Royal Newfoundland Regiment just weeks after war was declared. He was commissioned at the rank of captain and appointed principal medical officer. One of the first problems he encountered overseas was the effect of poison gas. In April 1915, using a German helmet, he developed a gas mask made of fabric specially treated to absorb poisonous chemicals. Several models later, it was transformed into the mask that became standard issue for the troops in 1916. Dr. Macpherson saw service throughout the war theatre and was twice mentioned in dispatches. Historically, a “mention in dispatches” refers to an individual being singled out by their commanding officer for “...valiant conduct, devotion to duty or other distinguished service” in post-battle reports. During the entire First World War, only 25 members of the Newfoundland Regiment received this honour out of more than 6,000 men. In October 1916 he returned to St. John’s as a result of his injuries. Dr. Macpherson soon took up duties as chief medical officer for the Department of Militia. He held the rank of lieutenant-colonel upon demobilization of the regiment in June 1919. Dr. Macpherson settled back into private practice and treated thousands of patients over the next 40 years. In 1962, he was awarded an honorary degree from Memorial. Public orator George Story described his life as, “a singular instance of the manifold nature of a physician’s career... notable for its varied achievement,” who throughout that life has refused to allow his vision or his action to be restricted by the narrow bounds of convention or expectation. He died in St. John’s on Nov. 16, 1966.
DR. CLUNY MACPHERSON, letter dated May 15, 1915
“I have been lucky enough to devise the helmet which has proved most efficient for protecting against the gasses without at all immobilizing the men.”


Cluett Hall

Frances Cluett was born in Belleoram on the shores of Fortune Bay on June 25, 1883. She opted for one of the few career paths then open to women and in 1901 travelled to St. John’s where she undertook a teacher training program. She then returned to Belleoram where she spent the next 15 years teaching at the local school. With the start of the war, Ms. Cluett became president of the Belleoram branch of the Women’s Patriotic Association, established to coordinate the work of women throughout the island in preparing bandages and care packages to be sent to members of the Newfoundland Regiment. Two years later, she joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) whose members were brought into military hospitals to provide support to nurses. Her first posting in England was at the 4th Northern General Hospital in Lincoln, where she was assigned to ward duty, looking after soldiers sent there to recuperate from war wounds. In 1917, less than four months after beginning ward duty, she was transferred to a casualty hospital in Rouen, France. That she was chosen over other VADs who had more seniority and experience is an indication of her efficiency and adaptability. She spent the remainder of the war in Rouen. In 1919, rather than return home like many of her peers, she agreed to spend a year in a British military hospital in Constantinople, returning home in 1920 to continue teaching. During the summer of 1926 she went back to St. John’s to complete an advanced teacher training course at the new Normal School, which eventually became the Faculty of Education. Ms. Cluett, therefore, can be considered one of Memorial’s first alumnae. Ms. Cluett spent the rest of her life in Belleoram, teaching primary school and operating a small store. As a result of her medical training, she was often called upon for advice or assistance when anyone in the community was ill. Frances Cluett died on Nov. 12, 1969.
FRANCES CLUETT, letter dated March 31, 1918
“Nothing would induce me to give up, mother.”


Shiwak Hall

John Shiwak was born to Inuit parents in Rigolet, Labrador, in February or March 1889. He left home at the age of 10 to assist his parents in supporting the family, ending whatever formal education he may have received. Instead, in the years that followed he taught himself to read and write. Over the years to come, he would master long-proven ancestral techniques for hunting, trapping and fishing. Mr. Shiwak was a member of the Legion of Frontiersmen, a paramilitary organization founded in Great Britain in 1904 and brought to the coast of Labrador by Dr. A.W. Wakefield of the Grenfell Mission in 1911. This interest in things military would soon carry over into the real thing and in the summer of 1915, he travelled to St. John’s and joined the Newfoundland Regiment. Mr. Shiwak quickly proved his value to the regiment as a scout and sharpshooter. He was considered one of the best snipers in the British forces and his superiors recognized and rewarded these abilities by promoting him to lance corporal in 1917. A massive Allied offensive was planned for late November in France that same year. The Newfoundland Regiment was brought into position as part of the second wave, intended to clear up any pockets of resistance. As part of that mission, the regiment was engaged in an assault on the village of Masnieres when a German shell exploded killing seven of its members, including Mr. Shiwak. He was buried in that village later that day, Nov. 20, 1917. He was 28 years old.
JOHN SHIWAK, quoted in the Montreal Daily Star, Apr. 26, 1918
When will the war be over?”


Macpherson College Features


  • Two-bedroom suites with shared half-bathroom and shower in each suite
  • Flat-screen TV mounts in every bedroom
  • VoIP phones in every bedroom
  • Wireless internet access throughout
  • Study rooms, kitchen areas and storage rooms on each floor
  • Laundry facilities in each tower, complete with lounge area
  • Meeting room and a boardroom
  • After-hours check-in counter
  • Outdoor stage/bandstand
  • Exterior covered bicycle storage racks
  • Interior bicycle storage racks
  • Motorcycle parking


  • Eight single, barrier-free suites, complete with barrier-free washrooms
  • Elevators in all buildings
  • Access to the MUNnel system
  • Paved, barrier-free walkway along Burton’s Pond


  • LEED certified
  • Low-flush toilets
  • Heat-recovery ventilation
  • Recycling stations on every floor of each hall
  • Energy-saving lighting system
  • Large green space between the halls


  • Security card access
  • Secure room call-up system
  • Security cameras
  • Exterior LED lighting


  • Covered entrances
  • Custom furniture
  • Modern sofas and chairs in lounges on each floor
  • Exterior planters with seating
  • Panoramic views from the upper floors