Seeking a Balance: The University of Saskatchewan, 1907-1982

By Michael Hayden | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Study and Service: 1907-1982

THIS CHAPTER goes beyond 1974 to give as full a picture as possible of the university's commitment to service and to provide an indication of further connections between the past of the university and the present than those evident in the mid-1970's. The evidence is not all in. There may be long-term trends at work that are not now evident. Therefore, conclusions must be tentative.

The motto of the University of Saskatchewan -- Deo et Patriae (For God and Country) -- is no more original than the coat of arms chosen instead of Murray's gophers. It does emphasize, however, the one idea of the university that is still intact -- service. In the minds of Murray and those who were associated with him in the early days of the university, God and Country tended to be identified as one. That idea was already falling out of favour in 1909. The First World War would be fatal for it. It was a case of some people becoming less religious and of others not wanting to identify God with the horrors being perpetrated by the modern state.

By the 1950's, at least, the motto of the University of Saskatchewan had become, for all practical purposes, "For Country" or better, "For Society" or "For Humanity." Yet God is far from dead on the campus. There are three churches, three chapels, two seminaries, two affiliated theological colleges, one federated Catholic college, and a Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Science.

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