Office of the Registrar
General Information (2008/2009)
6.2 University Status

The elevation of the College to the full status of a university was one of the priorities of the first post-Confederation Government. At the initial session of our Provincial House of Assembly, July 13, 1949, the intention of the Government of the day was conveyed by the then Lieutenant-Governor, the Honourable Sir Albert Walsh, in these words from the Speech from the Throne:

"It is considered that Newfoundland should have her own degree-conferring University and you will be invited to consider legislation which would confer upon the Memorial University College the status of a university. It is planned to widen and improve the functions, and thus increase the public usefulness of this institution created originally in honour of our illustrious dead of the First World War."

Royal assent was given the Bill creating The Memorial University of Newfoundland on August 13, 1949, exactly one month to the day from the opening of the House. The Board of Regents and the Senate were inaugurated in May 1950, and the first Convocation of the University was held on June 3, 1950, when the first degrees were awarded.