Our Past Principals
In the early days of Queen’s, the principal had to be a Presbyterian minister and always held the concurrent position of Primarius Professor of Theology. That requirement formally ended in 1912, when Queen's separated from the Presbyterian Church.
Still, the old tradition proved persistent; the string of principals who were ministers was not broken until 1930. Since then, the office has been held by academics in a number of different disciplines.
There has been some confusion about the official numbering of Queen's principals because the university was led by an acting principal for four years in the 1850s. The current convention is to include that acting principal in the official count.
Rev. Thomas Liddell (1841-46)
Rev. John Machar (1846-53)
Rev. James George (acting 1854-57)
Rev. John Cook (1857-59)
Rev. William Leitch (1859-64)
Rev. William Snodgrass (1864-77)
Rev. George Monro Grant (1877-1902) During his 25 years of leadership, the Rev. Grant transformed Queen's into a dynamic national institution. His vision enabled substantial growth and saw the addition of graduate studies.
Rev. Daniel Miner Gordon (1902-17)
Rev. Robert Bruce Taylor (1917-30)
Sir William Hamilton Fyfe (1930-36)
Robert Charles Wallace (1936-51)
William A. Mackintosh (1951-61)
James Alexander Corry (1961-68)
John James Deutsch (1968-74)
Ronald Lampman Watts (1974-84)
David Chadwick Smith (1984-94)
William C. Leggett (1994-04)
Karen R. Hitchcock (2004-08)
Thomas R. Williams (2008-09)