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Harlow at 50

Memorial's U.K. campus celebrating a significant milestone

By Memorial University

Memorial’s Harlow Campus was buzzing with activity recently as alumni, friends and members of the university community gathered to mark 50 years since the U.K. campus was established.

More than 4,500 students from 26 disciplines have studied, worked and lived at Harlow since it became Memorial’s international campus in 1969.

Dr. Noreen Golfman, Memorial’s provost and vice president (academic), joined the celebrations Aug. 23-25. She said a semester at Harlow meant more to participants than just the credits they earned.

“The learning, the friendships, the support of the Harlow team, and the memorable travel opportunities within the U.K., across Europe, and beyond – all of this contributed to an unforgettable experience for many that in some cases influenced major life choices and helped solidify paths to academic and career success,” said Dr. Golfman.

“Whether you were part of a cohort here for just a few weeks or for several months, your experience was undoubtedly transformative.”

The Harlow story began in 1967 with a conversation between Lord Taylor of Harlow, a Labour MP and a member of the Harlow Development Corporation. During that conversation Newfoundland and Labrador’s then-Premier Joseph Smallwood invited Lord Taylor to become president and vice-chancellor of Memorial.

Upon accepting the position, Lord Taylor suggested a link between the “oldest town in the New World and the newest town in the Old World.”

This set the wheels in motion for a Memorial campus in Harlow.

Today, Memorial University is one of just two universities in Canada with campus facilities in the United Kingdom.

In its early days, the campus housed professors and students from Memorial and from the local Harlow College. The first Memorial students who came to Harlow Campus were from Social Work – they arrived in the fall of 1970 and stayed for three months.

In the early 1970s, students from Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science travelled to Harlow Campus to live and gain experience completing internships in local factories.

Education students from Memorial also travelled to Harlow to complete internships in local schools. While Education students would be the mainstay of the campus throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, around that time the campus also began to deliver credit courses as part of programs in Humanities and Social Sciences, Business, Fine Arts, Science and Business.

Many groups of students, faculty members and researchers have travelled to Harlow Campus over the last few decades, along with students completing experiential learning components of Business, Pharmacy, Music, Engineering and Computer Science programs.

Today, the campus is also a hub for faculty members and graduate students engaging in research and further study abroad.

The celebrations included a reunion breakfast, a tour of the Newfoundland Garden, and an afternoon barbecue with alumni, friends and stakeholders of Harlow.

Harlow 50 celebrations will continue this fall in St. John’s and Corner Brook.

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