Western Economics Alumnus James McPhail Gillies (1924-2015)

James McPhail Gillies

Western Economics Honors graduate Jim Gillies passed away at the age of 91 in Toronto on December 13. Dr. Gillies was the founding dean of York University's business school, now named the Schulich School of Business. He joined York in 1965 after serving as an assistant dean in the UCLA business school. A native of Teeswater, Ont., Dr. Gillies studied at Western with an interruption beginning in 1944 to serve in the RCAF. He obtained his MA from Brown and PhD in urban land economics from Indiana University. After building up York's business school he served as that university's VP of academic affairs. In 1972 he entered federal politics as a Progressive Conservative MP and later was a top advisor to Prime Minister Joe Clark. Dr. Gillies returned to York in 1980 and only ceased teaching in 2009. He was named to the Order of Canada and was awarded several honorary degrees and many other accolades over his distinguished career. (See Toronto Star, December 19, 2015.