Your cart is empty.

Creating a University

The Newfoundland Experience

Table of contents

Foreword, by Dr. Noreen Golfman, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

1. Introduction: The “MUNographies,” by Roberta Buchanan and Stephen Harold Riggins

2. Memorial University of Newfoundland at St. John’s, 1949–1990, by Melvin Baker
3. The Many Roles of Memorial University Extension, by Jeff A. Webb

4. The Creation of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, by David G. Pitt
5. Laying the Foundations: The Years Immediately after Confederation, by John Hewson
6. A New-Found Land: Experiences of a Faculty Wife in the 1950s, by Elizabeth (Herrmann) Willmott
7. Philosophy, Music, and Public Broadcasting: My Life in Newfoundland, by Norman J. P. Brown
8. The English Department at Parade Street, by Sandra (Drodge) Djwa
9. “Forth into the Deep”: How I Became a Sociologist at Memorial University, by Ralph Matthews
10. First Steps Bound for the Smiling Land; Planning the New Campus, by Chung-Won Cho

11. The Grand Opening of the Chemistry-Physics Building, 1968, by Howard Clase
12. Folklore at Memorial, or How I Came to Newfoundland, by Neil V. Rosenberg
13. Philosophy Down to Earth at Memorial, by F. L. (Lin) Jackson
14. Sowing the Seeds of Memorial University Botanical Garden, by Howard and Leila Clase
15. Business @ Memorial: Reminiscences of Progress and People, by Robert W. Sexty and James G. Barnes
16. The Division of Junior Studies, by Michael Collins
17. Bill Pruitt and the Establishment of the Bonne Bay Marine Station, by Don Steele
18. Fire, Floods, and Rumours of a Ghost: Recollections of a Librarian, Dorothy Milne

19. Newfoundland’s Pull, by Raoul Andersen
20. From Bowling Green to St. John’s, and Early Years in the Medical School, by Sharon Buehler
21. The Biophysics of Excitable Tissue: Teaching in the Medical School, by Brian Payton
22. My Introduction to the School of Nursing, by Pearl Herbert
23. Falling on My Feet, by Tony Chadwick
24. Come From Away at Memorial, 1964, by Roberta Buchanan
25. On Being Head of the Math Department, by Bruce Shawyer
26. Coming to Memorial: The Wife’s Tale, by Jo Shawyer
27. The Edge of Experience: Coming to Newfoundland in the 1980s, by Marilyn Porter
28. Married Bachelor in the Department of Sociology, by Stephen Harold Riggins

29. Faculty Women: The Struggle for Equality, by Roberta Buchanan
30. The 1972 Occupation of the Arts and Administration Building: What Happened and Why, by Steven B. Wolinetz
31. My Fifty Years at Memorial University, by Joan Scott
32. Another Viking Invades Newfoundland: The Music School, by Kjellrun Hestekin

Suggested Reading about Memorial University and Education in Newfoundland
List of Contributors

A nostalgic collection of memoirs from Memorial University’s early years of innovation and community-building.


Creating a University is a collection of memoirs by more than 30 former faculty and staff of Memorial University — a series of “MUNographies,”— about personal and professional experiences working at Newfoundland’s only university. It is something of a Memorial University family reunion, without a drunken uncle.

In the years covered by this volume, primarily 1950 to 1990, few Memorial faculty were Canadians, let alone Newfoundlanders. These “come from aways” arrived in the middle of a post-colonial cultural renaissance, which saw a movement toward new interdisciplinary studies, and laid the groundwork for many of the programs and courses that are offered at the University today.


"This collection of memoirs. ..attests to the resilience and sense of community among the faculty especially in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.   While by no means a comprehensive history, its authors collectively provide personal glimpses of what it was like to build a university on the edge of the Atlantic. "

- Linda Kealey, Acadiensis

"MUNographies' are delightfully and informatively personal. "

- Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

"While the book was a buzz kill in the campus myth department. ..the disappointment was offset by great anecdotes about the school’s history. "

- Aaron Williams, Atlantic Books Today