Mackay Lecture & Award

The Kathryn Fraser Mackay Memorial Lecture was created by Mr. & Mrs. Mackay to support a lectureship to honor the memory of Kathryn Fraser Mackay.  The departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies alternate in organizing this lecture.


Kathryn Fraser Mackay died in an aircraft accident in 1979, little more than two years after her graduation from St. Lawrence University as a Bachelor of Arts cum laude, with Honors in Philosophy. She was a young woman with a great gift for friendship -- companionable, affectionate, and generous. Bright and full of courage, Kathy waged an intellectual and spiritual battle to resolve for herself fundamental questions in philosophy and religion. This campus was where she lived the largest part of her short adult life, and this community of the young is where her memorial most fittingly belongs.  Past Mackay Lectures.

The Kathryn Fraser Mackay Endowed Prize in Religious Studies was established in 2002 through the generosity of Donald Mackay in tribute to Kathy's engaging and generous spirit.

Each spring the Religious Studies Department will select a qualified recipient taking into consideration the following criteria:

  1. High GPA in the major
  2. Overall GPA
  3. The high opinion of the department that the chosen recipient has seriousness of purpose and academic potential for successful further work in the field of religious studies
  4. Participation in campus wide activities of an academic or social service nature that foster understanding of the field.

This year's recipient of the 2023 Kathryn Fraser Mackay award is Elsa Eckhardt.  Congratulations, Elsa!