Back to History

Back to 1962
Back to the


During the long vacation of 1961 we "moved house", transporting the University in all its forms and functions from the old and inadequate campus on the Parade Grounds to the new quarters on Elizabeth Avenue. The contrast, to anyone who is familiar with both sets of buildings, is startling indeed. In our new location we have room to live and work without imminent risk of collision, and to think without the fear that even our quietest reflections might disturb those of others.

But we by no means have unrestricted freedom of movement. In September, 1961, we registered over 500 more students than in 1960. When I came to the University in 1952 there were 416 students enrolled - this year we admitted over 1900. In 1962-1963 we expect to pass 2200, a number far in excess of that for which our present buildings were planned, and almost double the enrolment for 1959-1960.

In October, 1961, we celebrated, in concert with the Provincial Government, the move to the new University campus. These celebrations were appropriate and impressive; the occasion is remembered with pride throughout Newfoundland, and with pleasure (mixed in some cases with a touch of envy) by many throughout Canada and beyond. Because of these lively memories it is not necessary to elaborate upon the significance of the functions and what they achieved. Our Chancellor, in receiving from the Premier the key symbolic of the transfer of the new campus from Government to University, expressed the thanks of the people of Newfoundland for the great gift and pledged the University to unremitting zeal in serving this Province and the Dominion of Canada. We were honoured and complimented by the presence of so many representatives of sister Universities throughout Canada and elsewhere who came to us to share our joy and to wish us Godspeed.

At the end of the academic year 1960-1961 we received with regret the resignation of our first Chancellor, the Viscount Rothermere of Hemsted. Considerations of health made this action necessary. At the Spring Convocation in May, 1962, I added my tribute to those paid to him at the Fall ceremonies of 1961. As Vice Chancellor I was closer to him than most and can testify that it was a continuous pleasure and privilege to work with him. We are all glad to know that his health, which has given him so much concern, is improving. In October, 1961, we installed our second Chancellor, Mr. Roy Thomson. The University is fortunate indeed to have a man whose abilities are recognized across continents and oceans, a giant in the newspaper world, interested in serving as its Chancellor. In his career, Mr. Thomson has been author of a succession of spectacular achievements. We were happy to have him at the special ceremonies in October, 1961 and also presiding at our Spring Convocation in May 1962.

On our new campus we now have four academic buildings, and in addition the Dining Hall and two residences which have recently been completed. These are but tangible evidences of the lively accomplishments in things of the mind and spirit which have taken place at this University and which will never cease. These will not be dealt with in detail here. During the year we have again added many new courses and extended our offerings in both the undergraduate and graduate fields. We have embarked upon degree work in Physical Education emphasizing the fact that our Physical Education Building is more than a gymnasium. We have added as well Diploma courses in Architecture and in Public Welfare.

In our idea of the new University we included an Art Gallery and a Little Theatre or Auditorium, of which we are justly proud. These were opened in October 1961 and have already taken, as we had hoped, a distinguished place in the cultural life of this community. These things are merely beginnings. It is our dream that this University will be the center from which a strong and pervasive force will continue to make its benign influences felt more and more in the far corners of this Province and beyond.

During the year the work of our National Fund Organization progressed to the point where we can confidently predict a substantial success. This Campaign was launched to provide funds for Stage Two of the University's development on the new campus, Stage One being the four academic buildings. Stage Two will consist of seven buildings, three of which can already be seen on the campus. The enrolment figures I have given you show how urgently the others, including two academic buildings, are needed. We are most grateful to those who have helped and are continuing to help us by their contributions and their services.

Among the activities of the year, the creation at the University of the Institute of Social and Economic Research is worthy of special mention. This Institute was launched with a grant provided by the Board of Regents to start it on its way. A programme of tremendous interest and import to Newfoundland in the Social and Economic fields has been sketched in broad outline and the Institute has already received financial support from bodies inside and outside the Province, to speed research in problems of concern to the Province and the Dominion. The Advisory Board of the Institute is National in character and its membership a distinguished one. The Canada Council has shown its interest and support by a substantial grant and already well-qualified social scientists have embarked upon several important studies.

We move on from solutions to new problems. Those of numbers which will face this University and all Canadian Universities within the next decade will be vast. They must be faced with courage, determination and strength as well as with clear minds and cool heads. There will be times when they will appear to be insuperable and when those attacking them will be filled with pessimism and foreboding. But they will be neither insuperable nor incapable of solution if the people of Canada see the far goals and are determined to set their faces to them and their feet to the road. This applies to Governments, to industry and to individuals. The universities must take the lead in analysis and planning, in diagnosis and prescription. This will not be at all easy, for they must succeed in arousing a National consciousness and in screwing the National courage to the sticking point. The universities must not be satisfied with doing less than their utmost in this, for the prizes too are vast, and failure cannot even be contemplated.

In reflecting on what I have written so far, it has occurred to me that it may strike some of my readers as somewhat incongrnous that, in such times, we should highlight such problems. For the common people of the world are filled with unease and apprehension, and with cause. Great powers are blustering at their images of each other, and the rather anomalous advice from the State to the individual, who is the basis of the State, seems to be that in order to have a future he should put back the clock of time by thousands of years, and prepare to cower in his own private cave or, perhaps more appropriately, to burrow like a mole in the dark recesses of the earth. But surely such times and such primitive prescriptions must pass, and abiding truths prevail. In this the Universities have a responsibility, for, as Lord Rothermere said in his inaugural address as Chancellor, "Our one great hope is that the world - that is we, its citizens - can through the lessons of religion, of philosophy, through inward looking towards the inner light, use the things that come to our hands for the betterment and not for the destruction of mankind". Tennyson had the right perspective towards such discord among nations when he wrote:

    "Raving politics, never at rest as this poor earth's pale history runs What is it all but a trouble of ants in the gleam of a million, millions of suns?"


Celebrate Memorial Home | History | The 60's | Contents