Today Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, officially launched WW100, Memorial Universitys commemoration program.
After the dark days of the First World War, Memorial University College was founded as a living memorial so that in the freedom of learning, the sacrifice of those who fought might not be forgotten by future generations, said Dr. Kachanoski. From this unique origin the university has inherited a responsibility to remember and commemorate those who lost their lives in active service. Thus, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the events that sparked the First World War, we come together to launch WW100.
Details on WW100 were presented by Dr. Kachanoski. Dr. Luke Ashworth, chair of the First World War commemoration steering committee, and committee member Bert Riggs, head of Archives and Special Collections at the Queen Elizabeth II Library, provided more details.
The university will undertake commemorative activities in three broad areas: academic programs; physical commemorations; and library, archives and other resources. The Living Memorial Commemoration Fund has been established to support these activities and to empower the university community to create engaging projects and events. To date, more than 40 proposals have been received from all sectors of the university.
Dr. Kachanoski pointed out that while the St. Johns campus has many physical monuments to the men and women who served, other university sites do not. The president announced that by 2019, suitable memorials will have been erected at other major university locations, including Harlow campus in England and the recently acquired Battery property.
Finally, Dr. Kachanoski noted that heritage preservation is a priority at Memorial. The university is home to a number of unique collections, and there is an ongoing need for archival space to steward donations of rare or original content. The university, therefore, is in the early planning stages to design a new facility to house the diverse archives in Memorials possession.
Our WW100 commemoration program is all about creating a legacy, said Dr. Kachanoski. The events, programs and initiatives undertaken over the next five years will ensure that the university continues to reflect on the sacrifices of the First World War. At the same time we look forward, thereby embodying an important aspiration of those who founded the university advancement though education. As we remember, so too do we work to make our province, our country and our world a better place.