Fonds - Richard Alway fonds

Identity area

Reference code


Richard Alway fonds


  • 1924 - 2012 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.17m of textual records
approx. 50 photographs
2 CDs

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Richard Martin Holden Alway (1939-) was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He graduated from the University of Toronto summa cum laude in 1962. He was awarded further graduate degrees from the University in 1965 and 1967.

From 1976-86 he also worked as senior news analyst and commentator for Canada’s largest radio station, CFRB in Toronto. At the request of Cardinal Emmett Carter, Alway was the published of the Catholic Register for two years after the unexpected death of Fr. Sean O’Sullivan. A supporter of Roman Catholic-Anglican cooperation, Alway was the official representative of Cardinal Carter in ongoing conversation with the Anglican Church of Canada (1980).

He was appointed the first lay President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St. Michael’s College in 1990, a position which he held for 18 years. Following his tenure at St. Michael’s, Alway served as the President of the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies from 2008-2022. A supporter of Catholic education, Alway served as the Ministry Supervisor of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (2009-2011). He is an honourary fellow of Trinity College.

In addition to his academic service, Alway is an active collector of Canadian art and has served on several arts-related boards and committees. He has served as chair of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and chair of the C.D. Howe Memorial Foundation. Alway has also served as a member of the board of trustees of the National Museums of Canada from 1979 to 1986, and has served as chair of the National Gallery of Canada, as well as chair and CEO of the Ontario Heritage Foundation for two three-year terms.

He has also served on the boards of several non-arts associations, including the Canadian Educational Standards Institute, St. Michael's Hospital and the Belmont House Foundation. He has served as a member of the Millennium Planning Committee of the Archdiocese of Toronto and was a member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities of Canada. He helped found the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute and he served as vice-chair of its board and chair of its executive committee under Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic.

Alway was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1989 and was promoted to Officer in 1998, as well as a member of the Order of Ontario in 2001. In 1999 he was Appointed Knight Commander with Star of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II. He had previously been appointed Knight of the Magistral Grace, Sovereign and Military Order of Malta (1990) and Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre (1994).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This fonds is currently incomplete. This fonds contains works, correspondence, and ephemera belonging to or addressed to Richard Alway. The fonds currently consists of 10 main series:
• Administrative (General)
• Photographs: Miscellaneous personal and professional photographs that were transferred to the archive.
• Collected Publications: Consists of collected publications and promotional materials from art institutions or the University of Toronto.
• Correspondence
o Personal
o Professional: Includes correspondence relating to Alway's role as President of SMC.
o References: Consists of references written by Alway, largely on behalf of former students of SMC employees.
• Art Collection: Consists of materials relating to the acquisition, sale, and donation of artworks, mostly Canadian art.
• Speeches and Addresses: Consists of speeches and addresses given by Alway on various occasions including convocations, honourary degree conferrals, arts-related events, and University events. Series also includes scripts for many of Alway's CFRB talks.
• Writings: Includes academic writings and publications by Alway.
• Councils and Committees: Consists of materials relating to the many boards and committees on which Alway served, including: Heritage Trust, National Gallery of Canada, National Museums of Canada, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, and TCDSB Supervision.
• St. Michael’s College: Consists of research into the history of SMC, materials relating to the academic planning and funding at SMC, some personnel and administrative information, as well as Alway's own professional development while President.
• Academic Planning: Consists of academic planning materials not explicitly related to SMC or the Pontifical Institute. Includes materials related to the Toronto School of Theology, and the development of Catholic education in North America.

The fonds also contains a small amount of personal materials, largely related to the death of Alway’s father.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Further accruals expected

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to records containing financial information and some administrative information is restricted until review by archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


See also University of St. Michael's College. President's Office fonds;
See also Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies fonds

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by Francesca Rousselle, March 2022.




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places