Columbia University Archives

William McGill Speeches, 1971-1980

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0309
Bib ID 13879523 View CLIO record
Creator(s) McGill, William J. (William James), 1922-1997
Title William McGill Speeches, 1971-1980
Physical Description 0.83 linear feet (2 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.



This collection is arranged in one series.



This collection contains copies of William McGill's speeches delivered at Columbia University as well as at numerous other institutions from 1971 to 1980. It includes commencement speeches delivered at Columbia as well as Barnard and Cornell.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); William McGill speeches, 1971-1980; Box and Folder (if known); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

Additional speeches can be found in the William J. McGill papers, 1929-1979 (MS#0822) and in Central Files (UA#0001).


No additions are expected.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Emily Burns (CC 2017). Finding aid written by Joanna Rios in May 2019.

Revision Description

2019-05-17 File created.

2019-06-13 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Addresses Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lectures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Columbia University -- Presidents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

William James McGill was born February 27, 1922, in New York City, the son of a musician and grandson of an Irish immigrant dockworker. Raised in the Bronx, he sold shoes and ran an elevator at Radio City Music Hall as a schoolboy. After receiving bachelor's and Master's degrees at Fordham, he earned the PhD in experimental psychology in 1953 at Harvard and was an assistant professor at MIT until 1956, when he joined Columbia. He was chairman of the psychology department from 1961 to 1963 and left in 1965 to co-found the psychology department at the newly established University of California, San Diego campus.

After serving as chancellor at UC San Diego, he became Columbia University's 16th president on September 1, 1970, at the age of 48. As president, McGill was determined to mend ties with the community and end violent student protests. He had a reputation for thrusting himself into the middle of student protests to converse with the leaders. In addition to student protests, when McGill took office he faced more than a decade's worth of budget deficits. Resolved to correct the budget problems, McGill stalled University growth and in 1978 was able to report to the trustees that the University had achieved financial stability. During his presidency, the University's fund-raising performance recovered dramatically; he balanced the budget and completed $100 million in new construction. McGill returned to UC San Diego in 1980, became an adjunct professor of psychology and continued his research.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site. After clicking 'Submit Request', affiliates will login with their UNI and password. Appointments are required and will be arranged according to each individual repository's policy.

Series I: William McGill Speeches, 1971-1980

Box 1 Cornell Commencement, 1980 May 20

Box 1 Columbia Commencement, 1980 May 14

Box 1 St. Andrew's Society, 1979 November 30

Box 1 Columbia Commencement, 1979 May 16

Box 1 Carnegie Commission, 1979 January 30

Box 1 Middlesex County College, 1979 January 28

Box 1 Newman Club CUNY, 1978 October 20

Box 1 National Judicial College, 1978 October 6

Box 1 Columbia Commencement, 1978 May 17

Box 1 Memo: On Columbia's Investments, 1978 May 3

Box 1 Holy Name Society, 1978 March 12

Box 1 Guild of Catholic Lawyers, 1977 September 20

Box 1 Columbia Commencement, 1977 May 18

Box 1 State Bankers Association, 1977 April 19

Box 1 Clipping: Father Ford Award, 1988 March 25

Box 1 Interview: Columbia Reports, 1971-1974

Box 2 Annual Teachers Institute, 1977 March 8

Box 2 Rational Alternatives Conference, 1976 December 11

Box 2 The Freeing of Vitaly Rubin, 1976 December 21

Box 2 College Entrance Exam Board, 1976 October 24

Box 2 University of the Pacific, 1976 September 18

Box 2 Columbia Commencement, 1976 May 12

Box 2 Peacemaking in an Adversary Society, 1976 April 8

Box 2 Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, 1976 March 17

Box 2 International Association of University Presidents, 1975 November 11

Box 2 Report to the University Senate, 1975 September 19

Box 2 Bard College Commencement, 1975 May 31

Box 2 Columbia Commencement, 1975 May 14

Box 2 St. George Association of the NYPD, 1975 May 4