The Jill McKenzie Memorial Lecture

The Scottish Studies Foundation has created the Jill McKenzie Memorial Lecture in Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph. In honour of Jill and her husband Alan McKenzie, an annual lecture will be delivered by one of Scotland's foremost historians at the Fall Colloquium.

Jill and Alan McKenzie have been prominent members of the Scottish Studies community over many years. Reflecting on his time with the Foundation and the Clan McKenzie, Alan wrote, "Jill was my wife for 48 years and I can say that one does not take on time-consuming charitable activities without the whole-hearted support of a spouse."

Jill McKenzie was one quarter Scottish through her maternal grandfather. She was an extremely talented artist (she met Alan at art school) and throughout her life she used her artistic talents for practical purposes around the house with her home designs and decorations and her great interest in antiques. She was a phenomenal reader of books and had a great interest in history which she passed on to her four children and nine grandchildren. She taught by home-schooling one of the grandchildren. She also applied her artistic talents to designing and preparing the plans for their daughter's new house, meeting all the required planning requirements, with the house now one of the most admired in Oakville. "Above all," Alan adds, "she was a totally devoted mother and wife to her family and that is how we will all remember her."

Alan, of course, has been one of the mainstays of the Scottish Studies Foundation. A twenty-year veteran of fundraising, he has undertaken the roles of Secretary, Treasurer, and President of the SSF. In recent years he has campaigned to restore the Mackenzie castle, Castle Leod, near Strathpeffer. It was Alan who recommended that the Foundation be open to public membership, seeing it as the best opportunity to establish North America's first Chair in Scottish Studies. He undertook to produce the quarterly newsletter to keep the membership connected as the campaign evolved. While working at Barclays Bank of Canada, as Senior Vice President and Secretary, he was closely involved with Dr. Ed Stewart who chaired one of the Committees of the Board. Alan discovered Dr. Stewart's interest in Scottish History and persuaded him to join the Board of the Foundation, and later to follow Alan as President. "That," says Alan, "was one of my biggest contributions because with Dr. Stewart followed the important Scottish connections which he had."

We honour Dr. Stewart with the prestigious graduate scholarship that bears his name; now let us honour the McKenzies with the Jill McKenzie Memorial Lecture in Scottish Studies.

Our target amount is $45,000: with that in place we can endow this lecture series in perpetuity, using the interest income to bring the most prestigious Scottish historians to the Scottish Studies Fall Colloquium.

Your support has been unfailing; for that we are grateful. I ask you now to consider helping us honour Jill and Alan McKenzie through this memorial lecture.

Thank You.

Dr. Graeme Morton
Scottish Studies Foundation Chair

Click here for a pledge form in pdf format