While our building is closed, we can support you online. Learn about library services during COVID-19.

John D. MacLachlan

About the Interviewee: 
Head Dept. of Botany OAC –1942-50. President OAC 1950-65. Pres. U of Guelph- 1965-68

John MacLachlan worked for 28 years on the campus at Guelph and was President of the OAC during the period when the three founding colleges, OAC, OVC and MAC Institute became, first, the Federated Colleges and then the University of Guelph. Probably no President of the OAC witnessed greater changes since its founding in 1874.

Raised on a dairy farm in Eastern Ontario, John taught school and worked towards his degree at Queens, followed by a Master's and Doctorate at Harvard. John finally came to Guelph in 1939.

He relates his experiences coping with the very large classes following WWII and then the initial contacts with the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture in Toronto. His recollections lead eventually to the foundation of the University of Guelph and some of the problems encountered during this time. All faculty and staff, for example, changed from being civil servants in the Ontario  government to University of Guelph employees. He relates some of the problems encountered, some of the gains made, and some of the humorous situations. The University of Guelph grew from 2,200 students to over 12,000 during his time.

College : 
Interview Date: 
H. Pettit
Call Number: 
RE1 UOG A1340018