The building of Howard College at the University of Natal (now the University of Kwazulu Natal) was made possible by a donation from Durban businessman T.B. Davis, in remembrance of his son Howard who killed in the Battle of the Somme in WWI. The Natal University College, which had started in Pietermaritzburg in 1906, extended tuition to Durban in 1923, using the premises of the Natal Technical. By the mid 1920s, NUC was looking to establish its own campus and Davis donated £140000 for a building which was built on 50 acres of land in the Stella bush.
Howard College was opened in 1931 by the Governor General of South Africa, the Earl of Clarendon. The Memorial Tower Building, with its strongly Art Deco influence, was built to commemorate students who had died in WWII. The building, which cost £235000, was begun in 1948 and completed in 1972.