MacAulay was born in East Dudswell, Que., in 1909 and moved with his family to Limerick, Sask., in 1918.
He graduated with a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan in 1936 and continued with postgraduate studies at Purdue University.
He was on the faculty of the University of Toronto from 1937 until 1939, when he accepted a position with the U of S College of Pharmacy.
Between 1942 and 1945, he served with the Canadian Army overseas and was appointed dean of the College of Pharmacy in 1946.
MacAuley was active in many professional and educational organizations, serving as President of: the Association of the Deans of Pharmacy; the Association of the Faculties of Pharmacy; and the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.