On November 16, 2012 at an event at the Ottawa Convention Centre to mark the 130th anniversary of Royal Society of Canada (RSC), Governor General David Johnston announced the creation of a new library at Walter House, the RSC’s new headquarters in Ottawa. “I am equally delighted to announce that this new reading room, with the support and encouragement of his many friends, colleagues and loved ones, is to be named in honour of Rod Macdonald,” he added.
Former McGill Law Dean Roderick Macdonald made history in 2009 when he became the 111th President of the Royal Society of Canada, making him the first law professor to hold the post. Professor Macdonald’s leadership of the RSC was transformative, resulting in a greatly strengthened National Academy, as well as in the acquisition of Walter House, the first permanent home in the 130-year history of the RSC. In honour of his leadership, a large number of “Friends of Rod” organized to raise the funds sufficient to establish The Macdonald Reading Room in Walter House.
Once renovated, the Macdonald Reading Room will house some of the works of RSC Fellows, and also provide a space for quiet reading and study—which is how Professor Macdonald has passed so much of his prolific life. The Macdonald Reading Room will also be the only room in Walter House not named by a leading Canadian university.
Professor Armand de Mestral, who also attended the event, said: “This is but one small mark of appreciation of the distinguished service that Rod has given to the Royal Society.”
Holder of the F.R. Scott Chair of Constitutional and Public Law, Macdonald teaches and publishes in the areas of civil law, commercial law, administrative law, constitutional law, jurisprudence and access to justice. He has also served on a wide variety of provincial, federal and international commissions.
The RSC, which was founded in 1882, aims to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences by bringing distinguished scholars, artists and scientists together to examine major public policy issues in Canada and make recommendations.
The Faculty of Law extends its warmest congratulations to Professor Macdonald for this wonderful honour.
Photos courtesy of the Royal Society of Canada. Credit: Nadia Zwierzchowska, One Big Eye Photo.