Alberta became a province in 1905, and one of the first acts of the first session of the Legislature established the University of Alberta, which began to accept students in 1908. Athabasca, Assiniboia and Pembina were the first halls of learning for UofA students. Built between 1911 and 1914, the trio served as lecture halls and residence. To date, more than 100 years after they were built, these three structures continue to function, preserving a long and proud tradition.
Pembina Hall, designed by the University’s professor of Architecture Cecil Scott Burgess, deserves a special mention. It was the first building on campus to be framed with steel and concrete. A capitalized inscription “Quecumque Vera” is chiselled into the stone above its front entrance door. This phrase becomes the UAlberta motto, meaning “Whatsoever is true.”