Making Friends & Enemies: Public Relations at Memorial University College, 1925-1950


  • Malcolm MacLeod Memorial University


History, Memorial University College, HIC, Malcolm MacLeod


During its first quarter-century, Memorial University College, established in the 1920s, seems to have been particularly adept at skilful manipulation of public relations. The principal method was advertising made believable in the guise of news, published at regular intervals in the daily newspapers. Only very few criticisms of the college, concerning allegedly inadequate science or an allegedly disloyal professor during wartime, were broadcast, and those that were publicized were easily deflected. Judging from the published histories of other Canadian institutions, Memorial took more pains than were common elsewhere to carefully regulate and safely navigate the potentially difficult gown/town intersection.

Author Biography

Malcolm MacLeod, Memorial University

a 33-year career at Nova Scotia Teachers College and Memorial University, Malcolm MacLeod is a historian of the Atlantic region, and of higher education in Newfoundland. His articles and reviews have appeared in AcadiensisCanadian Historical Review, Newfoundland Studies, Labour/Le Travail, and CHA Historical Papers. He contributed to Youth, University and Canadian Society, edited by Paul Axelrod and John Reid (1994), and to the forthcoming volume on the professoriate in Canada, Historical Identities, edited by Paul J. Stortz and E. L. Panayotidis. His study of Memorial University College, A Bridge Built Halfway (1990), which discusses a brief 25-year period in a college with low enrolment, make it one of the most authoritatively detailed of the top-quality Canadian university histories published in the last two decades.