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Trent University Mourns the Death of Stuart McLean

February 16, 2017

Host of CBC's Vinyl Café awarded an honorary degree from Trent in 2007

The Trent University community is saddened to learn of the passing of honorary degree recipient Stuart McLean, best-selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist, and host of CBC Radio program The Vinyl Café.

In 2007, Trent University bestowed its highest honour upon Mr. McLean, awarding him an honorary Doctor of Letters for his distinguished contributions as an author, broadcaster and teacher.

Mr. McLean began his broadcasting career making radio documentaries for CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning. In 1979 he won an ACTRA award for Best Radio Documentary for his contribution to the program’s coverage of the Jonestown massacre. Following Sunday Morning, Mr. McLean spent seven years as a regular columnist and guest host on CBC’s Morningside. His book, The Morningside World of Stuart McLean, was a Canadian bestseller and a finalist in the 1990 City of Toronto Book Awards. Mr. McLean was also the author of Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada, which was chosen by the Canadian Authors' Association as the best non-fiction book of 1993.

Best known for his work as host of The Vinyl Café, Mr. McLean transformed a radio show featuring music, stories, and the fictional adventures for Dave, the owner of the world’s smallest record store, into an international phenomenon.

Mr. McLean’s books, Stories from The Vinyl Café, Home from The Vinyl Café, Vinyl Café Unplugged, Vinyl Café Diaries, and Secrets from The Vinyl Café are all Canadian best-sellers. For Home from The Vinyl Café, Vinyl Café Unplugged, and Secrets from The Vinyl Café, Mr. McLean was a three-time recipient of the prestigious Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal Award for Humour. 

In addition to a distinguished broadcast career, Mr. McLean was also an accomplished academic. A professor emeritus at Ryerson University and former director of the broadcast division of the School of Journalism. Named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2011, Mr. McLean has also received honorary degrees from numerous post-secondary institutions, including Trent.

The University extends heartfelt sympathies to Mr. McLean’s family and friends, and to all who knew him. In honour of Mr. McLean, the University will lower the flag atop the Bata Library to the half-mast position on the day of his service.