Sixty-seven University students and faculty lost their lives while on service during World War I. The impact of the war on the University was immense: 330 students and faculty served during the War, a number equivalent to nearly all of the students who had registered the year prior to the beginning of the conflict.
The desire to honor the staff and students who had fallen during the Great War was strong within the University community. As early as August 1918, 3 months prior to the formal Armistice, University President Walter C. Murray began making enquiries into the cost of a suitable memorial. What was settled upon were gates made of solid bronze, imported from England; the remainder, made of local greystone. Architect David R. Brown estimated the cost of what would come to be known as the Memorial Gates to be $30,000, with an additional $10,000 required for the memorial. A concerted fundraising effort among students and alumni helped cover the costs.
The Memorial Gates were unveiled by President Murray and dedicated by the Bishop of Saskatchewan on 3 May 1928. For many years after, the site was used for the university’s Remembrance Day services at which wreaths are still laid every November 11th.