MacKinnon Dinner

Named in honour of the late Dr. Hugh MacKinnon ("Father Hugh"), the MacKinnon Dinner is an annual event organized by the History Society, and a primary social event for all members of the department.

Since the first MacKinnon Dinner in 1984, organizers have arranged a fascinating assortment of speakers and a delicious selection of meals at a number of locations throughout the region.

Father Hugh MacKinnon was a Professor of Medieval History in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. He was an accomplished professor who won an Ontario-wide award for teaching excellence and served as Department Chair in the late 1970s. Professor MacKinnon valued intellectual stimulation and good conversation. He firmly believed that proper attire and venue promoted serious study and thus, he always lectured in his Oxford University gown. Professor MacKinnon also loved great food and good drink.

Professor MacKinnon died tragically while on vacation in Mexico in December 1981. Following his death, Professor MacKinnon’s mother and his three brothers each donated substantial amounts to a fund in his memory, soon followed by other donations from friends and colleagues. The MacKinnon family requested an annual departmental commemorative event.

People like Father MacKinnon made a big difference in my life! I had the great benefit of an education in your department from 1965 to 1970 and am really proud of my degrees. I think about history at Waterloo every day.

Daryl Smith (BA '69 MA '70 History)

Past speakers:

  • 2019 - Dr. Kandace Bogaert
  • 2018 - Dr. Jack Granatstein 
  • 2017 - Dr. David Marples
  • 2016 - Dr. Ian Mosby
  • 2015 – Ann G. Carmichael
  • 2014 - John English
  • 2013 – Dr. Jonathan Vance
  • 2012 – Carol Off
  • 2011 – Dr. Robert Bothwell
  • 2010 – Tim Cook
  • 2009 – Robert Jan Van Pelt
  • 2008 – Karolyn Smardz Frost
  • 2007 – John English
  • 2006 – Christine Sismondo
  • 2005 – Donald Shebib
  • 2004 – Terry Copp
  • 2003 – Rick Green