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 Brief History of Grenfell Campus

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Brief History of Grenfell Campus 

During the 1975-76 academic year, Grenfell College looked very different than it does today. Then called the West Coast Regional College, the campus was sparsely landscaped and devoid of trees, shrubs and ivy. The one-building campus – now our ivy-clad Arts and Science Building – housed the 400 students who registered for first- and second-year courses in arts, science and education. From this single complex, housing classrooms, laboratories, library, bookstore, gym, pool, dining hall and residence, the college has developed into a liberal arts and science institution of 1,350 students, with four academic buildings, a Student Centre and eight chalet apartment buildings. In fact, Grenfell now offers 16 distinct Memorial degree programs in arts, fine arts, nursing, resource management and science. Below you’ll find a chronology of significant developments at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College:


Sept. 1975 Western Regional College opens. Dr. Arthur Sullivan named first principal. Original building, today’s Arts and Science Building, included residence accommodations for approximately 190 students.
Oct. 1975 Ceremony of Dedication, special convocation, seven honorary degrees bestowed.
Sept. 1977 Dr. Cyril F. Poole appointed principal.
Oct. 1979 Western Regional College officially named Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
Oct. 1985 Special convocation held to mark 10th anniversary. Two honorary degrees bestowed.
Sept. 1988 Classes begin in Fine Arts Building for Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre and Visual Arts).
Oct. 1988 Fine Arts Building officially opens, four honorary degrees awarded.
Sept. 1990 Professor E. J. Ferriss Hodgett appointed acting principal.
Sept. 1991 Dr. Kathryn Bindon appointed principal.
Sept. 1993 Introduction of degree programs in English, Psychology and Cognitive Studies (program since discontinued).
Sept. 1995 Introduction of degree program in Environmental Science.
Nov. 1995 Library & Computing Building opens.
Sept. 1996 Introduction of degree programs in Environmental Studies, Historical Studies, and collaborative Bachelor of Nursing in partnership with Western Memorial School of Nursing.
Sept. 1996 Forestry program commences under the articulation agreement with University of New Brunswick.
May 1997 Student Centre opens.
Nov. 1997 Professor Adrian Fowler appointed acting principal.
May 1998 Professor Adrian Fowler appointed principal.
May 1998 Forest Centre opens, is shared with the Newfoundland division of the Canadian Forestry Service and the Western Newfoundland Model Forest Incorporated.
Sept. 1999 Introduction of degree programs in Humanities, Social and Cultural Studies.
Jan. 2002 First students move into chalet apartments.
June 2002 Appointment of Dr. Wade Bowers as associate vice-principal, research.
Sept. 2003 Introduction of degree program in General Science.
July 2004 Dr. John Ashton appointed principal.
May 2005 Introduction of Bachelor of Education (Primary/Elementary) degree program – fast track option
July 2005 Introduction of degree program in Tourism Studies.
Feb. 2006 Opening of offices of the Centre of Environmental Excellence and Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science.
April 2007 Provincial government releases independent report recommending a more autonomous governance structure for Grenfell College with respect to its relationship with the St. John’s campus: two universities within one Memorial University system. The system will be presided over by one Board of Regents, with each university having its own senate, budget and executive.
Sept. 2007

Introduction of Bachelor of Resource Management in Sustainable Resource Management

Sept. 2007 Introduction of Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Sept. 2008 Introduction of first-year of Bachelor of Engineering


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Grenfell Campus
Memorial University

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Corner Brook, NL
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Memorial University

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