University Archives and Special Collections, Photograph Collection, A-2585, “Students - Memorial Union Building”, 1960. Photographer: Gibson
University Archives & Special Collections, Photograph Collection, A-2585, “Students - Memorial Union Building”, 1960. Photographer: Gibson

Remember when

A focal point of the USask campus has a history of its own

For countless students over decades at the University of Saskatchewan, the Memorial Union Building was the place where lifelong friendships were forged and memories were cemented.

It’s a building that has been a focal point for decades on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

The Students’ Union Building Committee formed in 1945 to create a proposal for a new building that would serve as a memorial for the University of Saskatchewan students, faculty and staff who died in the two world wars.

The Memorial Union Building, or MUB, designed by Shore and Moffat of Toronto, constructed from 1953 to 1955, was the last building designed in the Collegiate Gothic style and clad in greystone.

USask, University Archives and Special Collections, Photograph Collection, A-2191 “Memorial Union Building – Construction”, 1954. Photography: Saskatoon StarPhoenix
USask, University Archives & Special Collections, Photograph Collection, A-2191 “Memorial Union Building – Construction”, 1954. Photography: Saskatoon StarPhoenix

The initial design included offices, lounges, shops, auditorium and ballroom.

The MUB formally opened on Nov. 11, 1955 and used primarily for student functions such as movie screenings, dances, chess games, dining, studying and other special events.

USask, University Archives and Special Collections, Photograph Collection, A-2170, “Film Screening - Memorial Union Building”, 1959. Photography: unknown
USask, University Archives & Special Collections, Photograph Collection, A-2170, “Film Screening - Memorial Union Building”, 1959. Photography: unknown

In 1957, a board of directors was established to operate the MUB and to promote activities and programs for the students, faculty and alumni of the University of Saskatchewan.

Due to increased enrolment at the University of Saskatchewan during the 1960s, the student body quickly outgrew the building and plans for the Place Riel Student Centre began.

The MUB has seen many renovations over the decades, yet remains a poignant memorial and central gathering place for students in both Louis' and Louis' Loft and houses important campus organizations and services including the USSU Pride Centre, USSU Women’s Centre, USSU Help Centre and The Sheaf newspaper.

The current Memorial Union Building. Photography: John Grainger
The current Memorial Union Building. Photography: John Grainger

Share this story