The President of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) from 2009 to 2011 was Professor Roderick A. Macdonald, F.R. Scott Professor of Constitutional Law at McGill University. 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 honor 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. The dedication of the Macdonald Reading Room was made by His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, during the Opening Ceremonies of the 130th anniversary celebrations of the RSC.
Once renovated for this purpose, 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 is also the only room in Walter House that has not been, and will not be, named by a leading Canadian university.
The following photo displays the architect’s rendering of the vision for The Macdonald Reading Room, as presented by the Governor General of Canada during the room’s unveiling on November 16, 2012, which was a complete surprise to Professor Macdonald.