Title and statement of responsibility area
James Downey fonds: 2019 accrual.
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- Source of title proper: Title from content of fonds.
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1948, 1974-2017 (Creation)
- Downey, James
Physical description area
66 cm textual records
73 photographs : b&w, some sepia toned ; 21 x 28 cm or smaller
23 photographs : col. ; 15 x 10 cm or smaller
1 drawing : ink on paper ; 16 x 16 cm
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Name of creator
James Downey was born in Winterton, Newfoundland in 1939. He graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and attended the University of London as a Rothermere Fellow where he earned a Ph.D. in English Literature. Downey began his career at Carleton University. There, he held a series of academic and administrative posts including Vice-President Academic and President pro tempore.
From 1980 to 1990, Downey was President of the University of New Brunswick. During that period, he also served terms as President of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Chair of the Association of Atlantic Universities, and Chair of the Corporate-Higher Education Forum.
From 1990 to 1993, Downey was Special Advisor to the Premier of New Brunswick; Special Advisor to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; and co-chair of the New Brunswick Commission on Excellence in Education, which published two reports that guided educational reform in that province.
James Downey was President of the University of Waterloo from 1993 to 1999. During his presidency of the University of Waterloo, he also served terms as Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and Chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
After stepping down as president of the University of Waterloo, he founded and directed Canada’s first centre for the study of co-operative education, located at Waterloo; led an annual seminar for new university presidents sponsored by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; and from 2007 to 2010 was the founding president of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
Among Downey's awards are nine honorary degrees; the Symons Medal for outstanding service to higher education in the Commonwealth, received from the Association of Commonwealth Universities in 2000; and the David C. Smith Award for contributions to universities and public policy in Canada, received from the Council of Ontario Universities in 2003. In 1996, Downey was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. And, in 2005, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada.
Downey's publications include The Eighteenth Century pulpit (Oxford University Press, 1969), Fearful joy (McGill-Queen1s University Press, 1973), Schools for a new Century and to live and learn (reports of the New Brunswick Commission on Excellence in Education, 1992, 1993), and Innovation : essays by leading Canadian researchers, edited with Lois Claxton (Key Porter Books, 2002).
James Downey died in March 2022.
Scope and content
Materials related to James Downey's personal and professional life. Includes Downey's commonplace books which he used to take notes related to his day-to-day affairs and specific annotations in relation to different aspects of his professional and personal life. Also contains speeches and addresses Downey wrote and presented at various events and celebrations. Lastly, holds personal and professional correspondence related to different aspects of Downey's professional roles and personal life (with a significant presence of correspondence between Downey and his sisters).
Immediate source of acquisition
Donated by James Downey in 2019.
Arranged in series as follows:
- 1. Commonplace books.
- 2. Speeches and remembrances.
- 3. Correspondence.
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Described by CGD in 2022.
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