Through the Past toward the Present: 1946-1959
THE YEARS 1946 TO 1959 were a time when the University of Saskatchewan adapted to a changed world. The third president, Walter Palmer Thompson, played an important role in this process. Influenced by his long years at the university, by his scientific training, and by the new political and social world that was developing in Canada and Saskatchewan, he made a series of choices that changed the university's future.
Walter Murray had worked hard to develop one provincially supported, state-serving university which, while traditional in approach, emphasized science and professional schools. He had managed to keep some balance among the component parts of this nearly self- contradictory body until the Depression. Then, Murray had to spend money only on what was absolutely necessary. The scientists -- especially Thompson of Biology, Thorvaldson of Chemistry, and Harrington of Physics -- convinced him that their research was crucial to continuing their work, while the others, thinking of what could be curtailed or abolished if absolutely necessary, did not place any great demands on Murray. Perhaps those in Agriculture, in exercising restraint, were reacting to the misery that they saw among the farmers. Those in Arts were much less imbued with the research tradition than the scientists. Those who were involved in research and writing, especially in history, economics, and political science, did not