Biography of Sir Daniel Macaulay Stevenson
Daniel Macauley Stevenson
Sir Daniel Macaulay Stevenson (1851-1944), was one of the University's most generous benefactors. Several chairs, a lectureship, a scholarship and a physical education building are named for him. He was Chancellor from 1934 to 1944 and was awarded an LLD in 1914.
Stevenson was born in Glasgow and made his fortune as a shipbroker and coal exporter. He travelled widely and learned several European languages. In the 1890s he became involved in civic affairs, most notably in the Glasgow Workmen's Dwellings Co. He was elected to the city's Council as a Liberal in 1892 and served as Treasurer and then Lord Provost, 1911-1914. He was responsible for a number of socially progressive measures, including the opening of municipal museums and galleries on Sundays (1898) and the introduction of free branch libraries (1899). In 1900, he succeeded in establishing a municipal telephone service in Glasgow, and in 1929 he received the freedom of the city.
After losing the contest for the Partick constituency at the 1922 General Election, Stevenson devoted his energies to the support of worthy causes. He was particularly interested in furthering international understanding among young people in the aftermath of the First World War, and he chose the University as the institution best able to further his aims in his native city. The Stevenson Lectureship in Citizenship was inaugurated in 1921 and the Stevenson Chair of Italian and the Stevenson Chair of Spanish (which became the Stevenson Chair in Hispanic Studies) in 1924. In 1942, he presented the University's Engineering Department with a gift of £60,000 and he gifted the same sum to fund exchange scholarships with European universities.
The trustees of Stevenson's estate made a significant contribution to the cost of physical education building on the campus in 1960, and it was named the Stevenson Building in his honour. The Stevenson Chair of French Language and Literature was founded in 1966.