The office of Chancellor was established by the University statutes of 1864, which ordered that the President of the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning should also bear the title and perform the function of University Chancellor. The Chancellor is the titular head of the University and the presiding officer of convocation and of joint sessions of the Board of Governors and the Senate. Until 1970 the Chancellor/ President of the Royal Institution usually served as Chairman of the Board of Governors, although this arrangement was customary not statutory. In 1970 the positions of Chancellor and President of the Royal Institution were split. The Chancellor remained the ceremonial head of the University. The President of the Royal Institution usually also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors, the latter position being concerned mainly with financial and administrative affairs. At present the Chancellor's duties include presiding over convocation and other University functions and serving as chairman of the honourary degreees committee and the committee to select a Principal.
CHANCELLORS OF McGILL UNIVERSITY
1864-1884 Charles Dewey Day
1884-1888 James Ferrier
1889-1914 Sir Donald Alexander Smith, Lord Strathcona
1914-1917 Sir William Christopher Macdonald
1918-1920 Sir Robert Laird Borden
1921-1942 Sir Edward Wentworth Beatty
1943-1946 Morris Watson Wilson
1946-1952 Orville Sievwright Tyndale
1952-1957 Bertie Charles Gardner
1957-1964 Ray Edwin Powell
1964-1970 Howard Irwin Ross
1970-1974 Donald Olding Hebb
1975 Stuart Milner Finlayson
1976-1984 Conrad Fetherstonhaugh Harrington
1984- A. Jean de Granpré
MORRIS WATSON WILSON, 1943-1946
Morris W. Wilson became a Governor in 1937 and was appointed Chancellor in 1943. He died suddenly in 1946.
General Administrative Records, 1935-1946, 60 cm (c.24-c.25)
Records on investments, endowments, correspondence, speeches and reports.
BERTIE CHARLES GARDNER, 1952-1957
Bertie Charles Gardner served as Governor from 1949 to 1958; he was Chancellor from 1952 to 1957 and was appointed Emeritus Governor in 1959.
Correspondence, 1953-1957, 1 cm (c.22)
General administrative correspondence.
Addresses, 1952-1958, 1 cm (c.22)
Addresses delivered by Gardner in his capacity as Chancellor.
RAY EDWIN POWELL, 1957-1964
Ray Edwin Powell was Chancellor from 1957 to 1964. He served as Governor from 1950 to 1966 when he became Emeritus Governor. Some private papers of Powell can be found in M.G. 4030.
Correspondence, 1948-1964, 6.6 m (c.1-c.20)
General administrative files from Powell's Chancellorship, as well as his tenure as a Governor, are arranged alphabeticaly within a chronological sequence.
Addresses, 1962, 1964, 1 cm (c.22)
Addresses delivered during Powell's Chancellorship with accompanying press releases.
HOWARD IRWIN ROSS, 1964-1970
Howard Irwin Ross was appointed Governor in 1959, serving as Chancellor from 1964 until 1970. From 1950 to 1951 he served on a committee to establish courses in Chartered Accounting. He was also Dean of the Faculty of Management from 1969 to 1973. Private papers of Ross are in M.G. 1012.
Correspondence, 1957-1973, 30 cm (c.21, c.23, c.24)
Papers from Ross' Chancellorship and his activities as Dean of the Faculty of Management. There are a few personal items
of memorabilia and correspondence.
DONALD OLDING HEBB, 1970-1975
Donald Hebb has led a varied academic and administrative career. He started as lecturer in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery in 1938. Appointed Professor in 1947, he was Chairman of the Department of Psychology from 1948-1958. Hebb served as Chancellor from 1970 to 1975. Some private papers of Hebb can be found in M.G. 1045. Hebb's private papers can be found in M.G. 1045.
Correspondence, 1970-1974, 3 cm (c.22)
Letters of congratulations on his appointment as Chancellor, 1970; general correspondence, 1970-1974; invitations, 1970-1974.
Addresses, 1970-1974, 1 cm (c.22)
Notes for addresses and addresses delivered by Hebb as Chancellor.
Honorary Degrees Committee and Emeriti Professors, 1970-1974, 1.5 cm (c.22)
Correspondence, memoranda and minutes.
Board of Governors, Membership Committee, 1970-1974, 5 mm (c.22)
Correspondence and memoranda.
Board of Governors, Executive Committee, 1973-1974, 2 cm (c.22)
Minutes and memoranda.