| History of the
Mackenzie King Scholarships
The Mackenzie King Scholarships were set up under the will of the Rt.
Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King (1874-1950), who was Prime Minister of Canada
1921-26, 1926-30, and 1935-48.
Mr. King had received $100,000 from his friend John D. Rockefeller,
Jr., on his 74th birthday. He directed in his will that this fund be held
on trust and the income from it be used by a Board of Scholarship Trustees
for "a series of travelling scholarships to be awarded to graduates of
Canadian Universities for post-graduate study of international relations
or industrial relations in universities in the United States and the United
He added that in establishing these scholarships, he wished "to
pay tribute to Mr. Rockefeller, whose generosity has made them possible
and whose devotion to the cause of international and industrial
peace has been unceasing, and also to record my warm appreciation
of the opportunities which I enjoyed in my early years, through
travelling scholarships, of continuing my studies in other lands."
The fund currently provides scholarships totalling some $44,000
Mr. King directed that the residue of his estate be held on trust for
another series of scholarships, the Open Scholarships, for "graduates of
any Canadian University who may apply therefor and who may be found by
the said Board of Scholarship Trustees most worthy to pursue their post-graduate
From the same trust fund as the Open Scholarship, he wished one scholarship
a year to go "to a graduate of Harvard University selected as most worthy
by the President of Harvard University to pursue post-graduate studies
at any Canadian university". Harvard University nominates the
recipient of this scholarship.
The total annual income available for the Open and the Harvard
Scholarships is currently about $12,000.
The Board of Trustees presently consists of:
- Dr. David W. Strangway of Vancouver, B.C.
- Professor Joost Blom of the University of British Columbia,
- Dr. Elizabeth Parr-Johnston, of Fredericton, N.B.
- The Hon. Frank Iacobucci, of Toronto ON (Trustee-designate)
Recipients of the scholarships are chosen on behalf of the Board
by a Selection Committee, currently chaired by Professor Joost Blom.
The Selection Committee receives nominations for each scholarship
(Travelling and Open) from universities across Canada.