July 30, 2010
U of S Archives, A-23
From material provided by the U of S Archives
On July 29, 1910, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier laid the cornerstone for the College Building, one of the original structures on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan. Over the century, the fine Collegiate Gothic building has served generations of students and staff, along the way becoming a recognized symbol of both the university’s proud past and its bright future.
Designed by Brown and Vallance, the College Building was originally intended to house the College of Agriculture but from the start served numerous purposes. As early as April 1910, the floor plans included: space for milk testing, butter making, cheese making and grain work; a gymnasium; several classrooms; offices for the Registrar, Dean of Agriculture, Director of Extension and President; the original “faculty club”; laboratories; the library; and quarters for the janitor.
Completed in 1912, the building was officially opened by Walter Scott, Premier of Saskatchewan, on May 1, 1913.
Letter to Sir Wilfrid Laurier from Walter Scott, premier of Saskatchewan:
June 21st, 1910
My dear Sir Wilfrid,–
I am informed by the Board of Governors of Saskatchewan University that the contractors for the University buildings have now been able to convey to them the assurance that construction will have proceeded sufficiently to permit of the corner-stone laying on July 29th, the day of your visit to Saskatoon, and it is the desire of everybody concerned that you should perform the function. No doubt a formal invitation will be conveyed to you.
The proposal was presented to the architects and contractors some weeks ago but it is only now that they have been able to say definitely that they will be ready for it on July 29th. I am, therefore, sending you the earliest possible intimation of an event which cannot fail to add something to the importance and interest of your Western visit.
My dear Sir Wilfrid,
Very sincerely yours,
Excerpt from Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s speech July 29, 1910:
“Let all who can come to this University. Let the father send his son, if need be, by personal sacrifice, but without such an opportunity one does not need to be discouraged.
It has been a proud privilege to lay this stone. I could not have had a more agreeable task. Let a university arise here which may be a worthy disciple of Oxford, Cambridge, and other universities which have done so much for mankind.”
U of S Archives, A-8