Dr Daniel McLean McDonald, born in Fort William, Scotland, in 1905, had degrees in Engineering (Glasgow) and Medicine (Birmingham). He was founder and Chairman of the BSR Group, manufacturers of record turntables and record changers. He died in his adoptive home, the Isle of Man, in February 1991.
The founding director of the Institute was Professor Colin Renfrew - Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology.
Background to the McDonald Institute Triskeles
Dr McDonald's choice of emblem for the Institute was influenced by the symbol of the Isle of Man, his adopted home. The winged feet of the Triskeles are those of Hermes, and were taken from a fifth-century Syracusan coin.