Prof. Delmar McCormack ‘Mac’ Smyth was former dean of Atkinson

Professor Emeritus Delmar McCormack Smyth, dean of Atkinson College from 1963 to 1969 and past director of the Centre for Continuing Education at York University, died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton on Feb. 21. He was 88.

Prof. McCormack Smyth, or simply “Mac” as he was known to his family, colleagues and friends, was a professor of administrative studies at York. Before coming here, he was the assistant registrar and then director of admissions for the University of Toronto, from 1958 to 1960.

Right: Delmar McCormack Smyth

Mac was a graduate of the University of Toronto and earned his PhD in 1972. From 1960 to 1962, he attended Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, where he was the first Fellow Commoner, a fellowship honouring the life and work of Sir Winston Churchill.

Prior to entering the academy, Mac worked in industry and government. In the early 1950s, he worked with C.D. Howe in the federal department of trade & commerce and was involved in the organization of Canada’s early international trade fairs. His other achievements include his role as the founding chair and honorary life chair of the independent Radiation Safety Institute of Canada and founding director in 1982 of the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy in Toronto; he also served as that organization’s chair in 1984. He continued to teach at York University into the mid-1990s.

A life-long scholar and learner, author and storyteller, Mac shared his wisdom and insights into politics and history generously. It was his life’s wish to find a way to ensure world peace. He was admired for his great mind, thoughtful determination and generous spirit.

Mac is survived by his wife Wanita, his nephews Roy Smyth and Craig Taylor and his great-niece Sara Smyth.

A celebration of his life will take place at the Central Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 3pm. Visitation will take place prior to the service from 2 to 3pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada or the Central Presbyterian Church in Hamilton. Friends and colleagues are invited to sign an online book of condolence.