Fonds MS-2-541 - William Andrew MacKay fonds

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William Andrew MacKay fonds

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  • Textual record

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9 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

William Andrew MacKay was a Canadian lawyer and former judge, civil servant, legal academic and eighth president of Dalhousie University.

He was born on 20 March 1929 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Robert Alexander and Mary Kathleen MacKay. He began his schooling in Halifax and received his high school diploma in Ottawa before returning home to Dalhousie University, where he earned a BA (1950), JD (1953), and LLM (1954). He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1954 and appointed Queen’s Council in 1973.

MacKay began his professional career in 1954 with the Canadian Department of External Affairs. In 1957 he was hired as an assistant professor of law at Dalhousie University, promoted to associate professor in 1959 and full professor in 1961. He received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to study at Harvard University in 1961 and was appointed George Munro Professor of Law. From 1964-1969 he served as Dean of Law and Weldon Law Professor, and in 1969 became Vice-President of Dalhousie under the administration of Henry D. Hicks. MacKay was appointed president and vice-chancellor on Hicks' retirement in 1980, positions he held until 1986. Throughout his administrative career he continued to teach constitutional and international law. After retiring from Dalhousie he served as Ombudsman for Nova Scotia from 1986-1988 and became a judge in the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division) in 1988, where he served until 2004. From 2004-2007 he was a Deputy Judge of the Federal Court.

Andrew MacKay married Alexa Eaton Wright in July 1954, with whom he had one daughter, Margaret Kathleen. He died on 12 January 2013.

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Scope and content

Fonds contains correspondence; MacKay's Harvard Law School class notes; published reports; and educational certificates. There is also correspondence with the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian National Commission for Unesco, and the University of Toronto Press.

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Donated by William Andrew MacKay in 1990.


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  • English

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No further accruals are expected.

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