Dr. Kevin James appointed to Scottish Studies Foundation Chair

Dr. Kevin James

Dear members and friends of the Scottish Studies Foundation,

I am pleased to let you know that Dr. Kevin James was appointed to the position of Scottish Studies Foundation Chair and Director of the Centre for Scottish Studies in the Department of History at the University of Guelph, effective June 1, 2020. The position was endowed by the Scottish Studies Foundation in 2004.

After completing his BA in 1996 at McGill University in Montreal, Kevin was awarded the Governor-General's Medal for highest standing in the undergraduate Arts program. Still at McGill, he completed an MA in 1997 under Professor John Zucchi and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD study in the United Kingdom, which he took up at the University of Edinburgh in order to work with Professor R.J. Morris in the Department of Economic and Social History.

Kevin joined the University of Guelph's Department of History in 2000 and has been a great advocate of Scottish Studies ever since. In 2002 and 2003, Kevin was Vice-President of the Scottish Studies Foundation and played a key role in its efforts to establish the actual position of Chair of Scottish Studies at Guelph, which culminated in the appointment in 2004 of Dr. Graeme Morton who served as the first chair until 2013.

Kevin takes over from Dr. James Fraser who took up the position in 2014 but stepped down early this year for health reasons. James continues to teach and to supervise graduate students in Scottish history at the University of Guelph.

In issuing the announcement about Kevin, Dr. Sofie Lachapelle, Department Chair and Professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph, stated, "I know I speak for all of us when I say that I look forward to working with and supporting Kevin in his new role as Chair of Scottish Studies, which has been and continues to be a real strength of our department. He will now bring his professional and scholarly expertise as well as his extensive experience in community and external relations to the position."

All of us on the Board of Directors are delighted with this well deserved appointment and are looking forward to hearing Kevin's plans and wish him the best of success in this exciting new chapter in his career. He sends you this message of appreciation for your support:

"Thank you for your work over many decades to realize our vision of Guelph as the world's leading centre of Scottish Studies outside Scotland. It is humbling but exciting to be entrusted to carry that mandate forward in partnership with you in the years ahead. Thank you also for your commitment to our community of scholars; please rest assured I will spend my term working to continue to advance the profile and important work of Scottish Studies at Guelph."

The Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph is the oldest and most eminent academic unit in North America to carry out research, graduate training and teaching on Scottish history and Scottish culture, with special emphasis on the history of the Scottish Canadian community. It is thanks to your steadfast and generous support that the reputation of the Scottish Studies Program at Guelph continues to gain an enviable reputation both nationally and abroad, and is helping countless scholars in the pursuit of their academic goals.

So thank you for all your contributions and encouragement. I do hope you keep safe and secure at this challenging time.

David Hunter
Scottish Studies Foundation