Highlights of the Festival of Anniversaries in 1999 - 2000
Anniversary barbeque lights a fire!
As the fall 1999 semester was about to begin, members of the university community got together in late August to celebrate Memorial's 50th anniversary as a degree-granting institution. On Aug. 13, 1949, in what was one of the first acts of the provincial government, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status. To mark the anniversary, university employees on the St. John's campus organized a campus-wide anniversary celebration. Faculty, staff, students, pensioners and alumni were all invited.
About 450 people came to the outdoor party, where they were treated to a barbeque, happy hour bar prices and a dance. Outgoing president, Dr. Arthur May, undergraduate student union president, Leigh Borden, and Dr. Wayne Ludlow, outgoing dean of Student Affairs, were on hand to cut an anniversary cake. Dr. David Pitt — the first faculty member hired in 1949 (whose appointment letter was dated almost to the day of the party, Aug. 27, 1949!) — was on hand to draw the first door prize.
Over $1,200 was raised for the Opportunity Fund and directed to Field House complex.
History of Memorial explored in video
To help record Memorial's vibrant history, the School of Continuing Education's Centre for Academic and Media Services produced a video program following the institution's evolution from college to university, with emphasis on leadership and student trends. Premiered in the winter of 2000, the video production includes alumni, community leaders, academics, members of the university community and others reflecting upon Memorial's role in Newfoundland and Labrador and offering an informal assessment of Memorial's value to the province and its people.
Among this collection of stories, personal insights, and reflections encompassing the first 75 years of the institution is a comment from a former premier and alumnus, Dr. Clyde Wells.
Grenfell College celebrates 25th anniversary in style
While silver balloons, white candles and a glittering disco ball dusted the room with sparkles, it was the spirit of years gone by that lifted the hearts of those who attended Grenfell College's 25th Anniversary Gala held on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2000, in the student centre annex.
The gala was a time for sharing memories, both joyous and wistful. It was the original quality of the institution and its staff and faculty that has ensured Grenfell's success today, said Principal Adrian Fowler, one of the original faculty members in 1975. He pointed in particular to the influence of the late Ferriss Hodgett, Grenfell's first vice-principal. The Ferriss Hodgett Library is named for the man who was known as "the soul of Grenfell," said Prof. Fowler.
“We have accomplished incredible things, we are accomplishing incredible things, and if we continue to build on that quality we had originally, we can accomplish incredible things in the future,” he said to a crowd of about 100 staff, faculty and students, past and present.
Dr. Axel Meisen, Memorial's president, shared his vision for Grenfell. “Creative thinking is the future,” he said, adding that the dissemination of information will not be the challenge it has been in the past. Rather, the ability to make use of this knowledge creatively will be the task. Grenfell College's programming in fine arts, arts and science fosters this creativity, he said.
Other 25th anniversary activities included including a special convocation in May and the SWGC Art Gallery exhibition, Tracking 10 Years, a display of the kinds of works by fine arts graduates. The exhibition opened on Feb. 20 and ran until April 1.
Clip from History of Memorial video:
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