Portraits of Past McGillians

Many famous McGillians, like former Principal Sir William Dawson (1820-1899), are represented in portraits around both campuses. Born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Dawson was a prominent nineteenth-century geologist, as well as Principal of McGill from 1855 to 1893. His portrait was painted by acclaimed painter Wyatt Eaton (1849-1896), who is responsible for numerous other paintings on campus, such as the portrait of Sir William Macdonald (1892) at Macdonald Campus.


Frank Cyril James (1903-1973), the eleventh Principal of McGill and seventh Vice-Chancellor (1939 and 1962), is represented in a portrait bust. During his principalship, James expanded the University’s faculty to include the Faculty of Divinity, the Departments of Geography and Chemical Engineering, and the Institute of Islamic Studies. The bust was created in 1954 by acclaimed Toronto-born sculptor and author Alan Hepburn Jarvis (1915-1972) in his London studio. Jarvis eventually became the Director of the National Gallery of Canada.