A Meeting of Minds: The Massey College Story

A Meeting of Minds: The Massey College Story

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Judith Skelton Grant
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
792 Pages 102 Images
ISBN 9781442650206
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $70.00    $52.50
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442622562
Published Oct 2015
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $70.00

Opened in 1963, Massey College is a residential college for graduate students at the University of Toronto. The college was the brainchild of Vincent Massey, Canada’s first native-born Governor General, who wanted to create an intellectually stimulating milieu like the one he associated with the long-established colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. Massey College’s first master was the legendary Canadian novelist, playwright, and editor, Robertson Davies. Davies and his successors – Patterson Hume, Ann Saddlemyer, and John Fraser – fostered a dynamic community of students, scholars, and public intellectuals that thrives today under the mastership of Hugh Segal.

Written by Judith Skelton Grant, A Meeting of Minds is the definitive account of the college’s first fifty years, its many traditions, and the hundreds of fellows who have passed through its halls. Full of wonderful anecdotes about the college’s notable fellows and alumni, this history of Massey College takes the reader into the heart of one of Canada’s most important intellectual institutions.

Judith Skelton Grant is the author or editor of eight books, including the authorized biography of Robertson Davies. Her most recent book is A Bibliography of Robertson Davies (written with Carl Spadoni).


The Years of Preparation

1. Vincent Massey, A Man of Vision

2. The Massey Foundation

3. Choosing an Architect and a Master

4. The Master Designate Joins the Team

The Mastership of Robertson Davies

5. The College Comes to Life

6. Difficult College Finances

7. Restiveness in the Sixties

8. Women Are Admitted to the Fellowship

9. The Junior Fellows Win More Responsibility & College Life

The Mastership of Patterson Hume

10. Dealing with Financial Stringency

11. College Life

The Mastership of Ann Saddlemyer

12. Community Building

13. A Higher Public Profile

The Mastership of John Fraser

14. Fraser Takes Charge

15. Second Year Blues & Expansion Begins

16. New Initiatives, 1997–2002

17. Fraser’s Ideals Take Shape, 2002–2009

18. College Life, 2009–2013, An Overview, and A Postscript

“Judith Skelton Grant has set out a feast for Massey’s fiftieth birthday party. Admirers of the college, of whom I have long been one, will find it irresistible.”

John Polanyi, Nobel Laureate and founding Senior Fellow of Massey College

“No other academic tale in Canada is like the one told in A Meeting of Minds. Massey College began as a glimmer in the imagination of an often crotchety governor general (Vincent Massey), then taken up by a brilliant but deeply troubled architect (Ron Thom) and a gifted, if eccentric writer, who saw himself as a failed playwright (Robertson Davies). In time, it became a unique centre of intellectual ferment, and that is what keeps this luminous history by Judith Skelton Grant so riveting, from beginning to end.”

John Fraser, Master Emeritus of Massey College

“Massey College is one of the most distinguished academic centres in North America. It is at the heart of Canadian intellectual endeavour, but it also embodies the good nature and courtesy for which Canada is so well known. Here is its story, amusingly and informatively set out. This is all about what makes Massey such a magnificent, hospitable, and interesting place.”

Alexander McCall Smith, award-winning author and Senior Fellow of Massey College

‘Grant has a fascinating tale to tell… She has supplemented this written record with an impressive number of personal interviews. All this allows her to provide a richly textured backdrop to her story.’

Mark Lovewell, LRC May 2016