Watson Kirkconnell was born in 1895 in Port Hope, Ontario. He was educated at Queen's University and Oxford University, was an army officer, a professor of Latin, a professor of English, ninth president of Acadia University (1948 - 1964), a Milton scholar, author of many volumes of prose and poetry, historian, and genealogist. He was also the joint founder of the Federal Citizenship Branch (1940), the Humanities Research Council of Canada (1943) and the Baptist Federation of Canada (1944). In 1936 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Kirkconnell died on 26 February 1977. For more information about Dr. Kirkconnell, see J. R. C. Perkin, Morning in His Heart: The Life and Writings of Watson Kirkconnell. Access to Kirkconnell's archival records can be arranged by contacting the Archives.
The Kirkconnell Reading Room was officially opened in 1979. It isdedicated to the memory of Dr. Watson Kirkconnell. The room was furnished with funds donated by the Alumni Classes of 1952 and 1964.