Saturday, January 12, 2008

War Memorial Hall


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University of Guelph's
War Memorial Hall



What a wonderful example of fine architecture on the grounds of the University of Guelph! I've been in this building many times for various concerts or debates or talks of one kind or another. For instance, last October there was a Campus Crusade for Christ talk in this building entitled, "Should a 21st Century Scientist believe in God?" and it only cost $2.00 to go to take part in this evening lecture.



On the University of Guelph's historical pages, you can read the following about the War Memorial Hall:


The first time Guelph alumni were asked to contribute significantly to the support of their alma mater was in 1919 when they were asked to donate $60,000 toward the cost of building War Memorial Hall. The provincial government donated $40,000 to the project, which came to fruition because of suggestions by students that the Ontario Agricultural College should build a memorial to the 109 college men who lost their lives in World War I.



Students wielded saws and axes against a stand of Norway Spruce to ensure that the building would stand on its present site and held a series of concerts to raise funds. Built of Georgetown limestone, War Memorial Hall opened in June 1924. Two bronze tablets face each other in the Memorial Chapel; one bearing the names of the 109 fallen men, the other remembering those who died in the Second World War. The hall quickly became a cultural centre for the city as well as the site of OAC's annual convocation ceremonies.




The example of War Memorial Hall and the good it brought to the campus may have influenced alumni giving in later years. A scholarship endowment fund created in 1959, the 1966 Development Fund that supported the establishment of the University of Guelph, and the University's last major capital campaign in 1986 all received broad alumni support.



And here:

Built in June of 1924 from Georgetown limestone, students forced administration’s hand in choosing the hall’s location by cutting down a stand of Norway spruce and digging the foundation one night. It was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of OAC and to honour students who had enlisted and died in the First World War.


Two bronze tablets face each other in the Memorial Chapel; one bearing the names of the 109 fallen men who lost their lives in First World War, the other remembering those who died in the Second World War.


View the portraits of five OAC Presidents and Professor William Graham between the windows in the main auditorium of this magnificent building.









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