University Status

Nearly two decades after Memorial University College had been established, the world was thrust into the Second World War. Due to the great loss incurred during the previous war Newfoundland didn’t impose a draft. Still, that didn't stop thousands of recruits from bravely volunteering to go into battle.

By the end of 1945, the war had ceased and Newfoundland’s soldiers had begun to return home. To commemorate the fallen, the college was rededicated to also encompass the 1,089 lives lost during this war.

As the veterans returned, the college experienced a surge in enrolment. Despite recent events, positivity was abundant and people were eager to pursue a promising future. Enrolment peaked at 434 students in 1946, and as a result, overcrowded classrooms and laboratories became the norm. As a temporary spacing solution, the government acquired two nearby former American military buildings. Increased enrolment, new academic offerings and a shift in social and economical mindset confirmed Newfoundland’s need for a full-scale university.

Soon after Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, a bill was passed elevating the college to university status. From that moment on, we would be known to the world as Memorial University of Newfoundland.