Archibald G. Huntsman
A.G. Hunstman was born in Tintern, Ontario 1883, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from this University in 1905, a Bachelor in Medicine in 1907, and an M.D. in 1933, and Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) in 1969. He served the University as a Lecturer, Associate Professor and as Professor of Marine Biology. His association with the University of Toronto spanned 74 years. Professor Hunstman published more than 200 scientific papers, was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, rose to President in 1933, and received the Society’s highest award, the Flavelle Medal, in 1952. A.G. Hunstman was curator of the St. Andrews Atlantic Biological Station 1911-1919, when he was named Director, a position he held until 1934. (When it burned down, Ottawa informed “A.G.” that in order to save money, it would not be rebuilt. Dr Huntsman cut everyone’s salary [including his] in half, mortgaged his house and immediately rebuilt the research station.)
Professor Huntsman is remembered for his research on Atlantic salmon, work that continues to stimulate investigation. Those fortunate enough to know “A.G.” undoubtedly remember best his almost automatic challenges of accepted or established thought. Professor Huntsman was as much a humanist as a scientist and in presenting him on the occasion of receiving his L.L.D., Chairman Donald A. Chant ended his introduction with, “He is a moral man, a gentle man, and a man whose brilliant mind can at one moment scale the peaks of philosophy and consider the mysteries of man’s condition and at the next focus on the everyday facts of biological phenomena.”
Professor Huntsman was honoured with the creation of the Hunstman Marine Laboratory (later named The Huntsman Marine Science Centre), this being a facility in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, of a consortium of Canadian universities. In 1973 the Zoology Department of the University of Toronto named the departmental research library the “A.G. Huntsman Reference Library” in recognition of the donation of the Huntsman books and papers.
Professor A.G. Huntsman began his 1955 address to the class of 1905 (and the University with the words of the Roman gladiators, “Morituri te salutamus.” His words were premature; “A.G.” lived another 18 years.
Canada Post began the new millennium by honouring some outstanding Canadians. Professor A.G. Huntsman was among such notables as Lester Pearson and Marshall McLuhan to be so honoured.
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