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William Jarvis McCurdy was born in Quebec in 1904, son of the Reverend James Farquarhar McCurdy and Amelia Palmer McCurdy. Following in his father's footsteps, McCurdy was educated at Dalhousie University, receiving his BA in 1926. He earned an MA (1927) and PhD (1929) in philosophy from Harvard, then spent three years teaching at McMaster University before being recruited by the philosophy department at the University of Toronto. He remained there until his retirement in 1969.
McCurdy was active in social and political causes, including the Fellowship for the Christian Social Order (FSCO) and the Workers' Education Association (WEA). He served as a national president for the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR), and later ran for office as a Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) candidate. He was a longtime member of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto and was lifetime president of Dalhousie's Class of 1926. In 1929 he married Avis Marshall, with whom he raised four children. He died in 1988.
Scope and content
Fonds consists primarily of correspondence and records pertaining to the Dalhousie Class of 1926 and William Jarvis McCurdy. Financial records include class contributions and invoice payments; correspondence includes letters exchanged between McCurdy and various classmates, letters to Elinor Barnstead and a letter from Elinor Barnstead to Wilfrid Creighton.
McCurdy's personal records include a newspaper announcement of his 1929 engagement to Avis Marshall, his 1931 doctoral thesis from Harvard University, and the memorial service program of his death in 1988.
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