W.L. Morton Distinguished Lecture
On the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary in 1989, University College of the University of Manitoba inaugurated the William Lewis Morton Distinguished Lectureship. It is the intention of the College to continue the lectureship and so honour the distinguished public and scholarly role that W. L. Morton played in the life of Manitoba and Canada.

 A native of Gladstone, Manitoba, William Lewis Morton (1908-1980) was educated here at U of M and at Oxford as Rhodes Scholar for the province (1932). Most of his teaching career was at this University and it was his vision and confidence that led in 1964 to the founding of University College of which he was the first Provost. After some years at Trent University, Professor Morton returned to Manitoba as distinguished visiting professor in 1975.

During his long and productive scholarly career, Dr. Morton wrote over a dozen books and five dozen articles. Many of which had profound impact on Canadian scholarship, ending once and for all the centrist bias of our national historiography. Nevertheless, although the preeminent historian of Manitoba and a man who loved the prairies deeply, he was never a narrow or parochial regionalist.

In his mature years especially, Dr. Morton wrote on broad national themes, seeking to interpret the Canadian identity's cultural diversity in a northern environment, and reminding us always of its place in the larger history of civilized societies. But for all his scholarly eminence, Professor Morton considered his first obligation was to his students. He was particularly dedicated to undergraduate teaching, while his patience, good humour and above all, his example, initiated several academic careers of great accomplishment.

In a well-known Morton aphorism, he once wrote: "History is not an academic mystery; it's what the community thinks about itself, how it sorts out its ideas." True to his dictum, Dr. Morton was very much a part of his community, adding to and helping to sort out its stock of ideas. On campus he was a champion of equitable governance, while his sophisticated conservative philosophy made him much sought after by church and government alike. He served as president of local, provincial and national historical societies. He advised provincial governments and served as a Governor of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His many honours, which included Captaincy of Manitoba's Order of the Buffalo Hunt and his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, were worn lightly, but proudly.

The W. L. Morton Lectureship, presented annually at University College, is an important occasion open to the public of Manitoba. Distinguished men and women speakers are sought who will engage with Professor Morton's broad range of interests: the west and the nation, the church and government, history and society.

Past Morton Lecturers:

2012 Alexander Mickelthwate
2010 Margaret MacMillan
2009 John English
2009 Bob McDonald
2008 Dr. Ian Stirling
2007 Dr. Philip Currie
2006 Shani Mootoo
2005 Laszlo Barna
2003 Pete Docter
2000 A. B. McKillop
1999 Maestro Louis Salemno
1998 Martha Henry
1996 Dr. A.G.W. Cameron
1995 Desmond Morton
1994 John Roberts
1993 Justice Rosalie Abella
1992 Ramsay Cooke
1991 Patrick Watson
1990 Allan Gotlieb
1989 J.M.S. Careless