Accession MS-2-541.1990-014 - Personal papers of William Andrew MacKay

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Personal papers of William Andrew MacKay

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  • Textual record

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  • 1949-1967 (Creation)
    MacKay, W. Andrew

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9 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

William Andrew MacKay was born on March 20, 1929 in Halifax, Nova Scotia to Robert Alexander MacKay and Mary Kathleen M. MacKay. He started his schooling in Halifax and received his high school diploma in Ottawa. Ontario. He went on to Dalhousie University receiving his B. A. (1950), law degree (1953), and his Masters of Law (1954). He was awarded a Ford Foundation Graduate Fellowship to Harvard University for the 1960-61 academic year. W. Andrew MacKay was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1954 and was created Queen’s Council in 1973.

Andrew married Alexa Eaton Wright in July 1954. He has one daughter, Margaret Kathleen.

MacKay began his career with the Canadian Department of External Affairs from 1954 to 1957. Three of those four years he was seconded to the Royal Commission on Canada’s Economic Prospects secretariat. In 1957, he shifted his path to the teaching of law at Dalhousie University at the rank of assistant professor. By 1959 he was promoted to an associate professor and in 1961 attained the position of a full professor. W. Andrew MacKay served as Dean of the Law from 1964-1969. He took on a full administrative position as Vice-President in 1969, under President Henry D. Hicks’s administration. Upon Hicks’s retirement William Andrew MacKay became the eighth president of Dalhousie University, a position he held until 1986. Though out all of his administration positions he continued to teach constitutional and international law. He served as the Ombudsman for Nova Scotia from 1986 to 1988. MacKay was appointed a Judge in the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division) in 1988, a shift to Federal Court of Canada from 2001 to 2004, followed by an appointment as a Deputy Judge in the Federal Court for the period 2004-2007.
William Andrew MacKay was involved with numerous organizations and boards over his career. He served as: Chairman of the Association of Atlantic Universities (1981-1983); President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (1983-1985); Chairman of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (1967-1986); Chairman of the Nova Scotia Commission of Inquiry on Remuneration of Elected Provincial Officials (1974-1985) Chairman of the Nova Scotia Task Force on AIDS (1987-1988); director of the Bank of Nova Scotia (1984-1986); Advisory Board of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (1978-1986); and on the Board of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (1981-1986). He held memberships in: Canadian Officer Training Corps (COTC) with the rank of Lieutenant; The Canadian Institute of International Affairs; Canadian Bar Association; Association of the Conference of Governing Bodies, Legal Profession in Canada (1964-1969); Director of the Halifax YMCA (1961-1964); and sat on the Board of Governors of Ambrae Academy (1976-1982).
William Andrew MacKay died January 12, 2013.

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Scope and content

Accession consists of: correspondence; Harvard University class notes; reports; and certificates of William Andrew MacKay. Includes 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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No further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

April 26, 1990

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  • English

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