“...this University is a striking example of Emerson's statement that every institution is the lengthened shadow of one man”
MURRAY, Walter Charles, president of the University of Saskatchewan, 1908-1937; b. May 12, 1866, in Studholm parish, King’s county, New Brunswick; d. in Saskatoon, March 24, 1945. Son of Charles Murray, M.D., and Elizabeth Mackenzie. Educated at the Collegiate School in Fredericton, the University of New Brunswick (BA 1886), Edinburgh University (MA first class honours in philosophy, 1891) and Berlin. Canadian Gilchrist scholar, 1887-90. Professor of philosophy in the University of New Brunswick, 1891-92, and in Dalhousie University, 1892-1908. Became the first president of the University of Saskatchewan and played a leading part in shaping its educational policies. Served on commissions investigating university problems in British Columbia, 1910, Alberta, 1915, Manitoba, 1923 and 1932. Chairman of commission to consider means of bettering the educational system of Manitoba, 1923. Member of the Beatty commission on Dominion technical and professional services, 1929; the Duff commission on railways and transportation, 1932; the National Research Council, 1916-32; the National Film Board, 1939-1941. Trustee of Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1919-38, and chairman, 1934. Elected F.R.S.C., 1918. L.L.D. (Hon.) Queen’s, 1903, Alberta, 1915, McGill, 1921, McMaster, 1923, Manitoba, 1929, Wisconsin, 1929, Dalhousie, 1938; D.C.L. (Hon.) Saskatchewan, 1938. As an elder he was active in the assemblies of the Presbyterian Church and, after 1925, in presbytery, conference and council of the United Church of Canada. An advocate of organic union of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational Churches, he was a member of the Joint Union Committee, 1904-08 and 1914, the Presbyterian representative on the Advisory Council for the Union Churches of Western Canada, and one of the United Church appointees to the Duff commission to divide church property, 1926. Resourcefulness and skill in negotiation made him a valued member of innumerable committees in local, provincial, and national organizations. In various ways he promoted understanding between native-born Canadians and settlers of European origin. Interested in municipal affairs and was an alderman in Halifax, 1905-08, and chairman of the Saskatoon City Hospital Board, 1939-44. In 1895 married Christina Cameron; they had three daughters.
The summation of a life tells much, but the story is better told in the details. This site attempts to show some of the details from the life of Walter Murray, as discovered in the records available in the University of Saskatchewan Archives. A remarkable man, Walter Murray helped create a remarkable institution, and his shadow, to some extent, marks the institution to this day.