Memorial University College opened its doors on the old Parade grounds in St. John's to a total student body of 55 on September 15, 1925.
The college was established as a memorial to the Newfoundlanders who had lost their lives on active service during the First World War; it was later rededicated to also encompass those lost in the Second World War.
The first post-Confederation Government made the elevation of the college to the full status of a university one of its main priorities. On August 13, 1949, the Bill creating The Memorial University of Newfoundland received Royal Assent, exactly one month from the opening of the House.
The university's governing bodies, 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.
The university's motto, Provehito in Altum (Launch forth into the deep), captures the spirit of the adventure of learning and urges students to extend the frontiers of knowledge..