Creating a culture of philanthropy
In contemplating how best to express what the unprecedented success of Campaign McGill: History in the Making means to our institution, I was moved to reach back into the past to consider the origins of the word “philanthropy”, which has its roots in the Greek “philanthropia,” meaning “love of humanity,” in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing and enhancing what it is to be human for both the benefactor and the beneficiary of a gift.
For me, this notion encapsulates the most important contribution of Campaign McGill, as well as its most profound and enduring legacy. Since its launch, the Campaign has provided a focal point for the deeply human impulse of McGill alumni and donors to give back to their community, to the young people who follow in their footsteps, and to the institution that, for so many, was central to their happiness and success. In turn, these acts of generosity stimulate our students, our faculty and staff, and fellow donors to aim higher, to contribute more, and to give back in their own ways, creating a positive and self-perpetuating cycle that embodies the very best of what it means to be not just a McGillian, but a human being.
This is a true “culture of philanthropy”: where giving is seen as a vital and mutual responsibility, and where there is a seamless continuum between the professors and researchers who generate academic excellence; the students who benefit from and enhance it; the volunteers who promote it; and the alumni and donors who choose McGill as the place where their donations can make a meaningful contribution to the issues that matter to them. It is, in essence, a shared understanding, appreciation and responsibility for the importance of giving and receiving for the betterment of McGill, its students, and its community.
For me, this is, at its core, what the Campaign – and what you as our generous and valued donors – have accomplished. You have helped create a culture of philanthropy that will sustain our institution and its excellence long into the future, even when this milestone is a distant memory. And this—even more than the Campaign’s financial achievement—is what philanthropy is all about.
Marc L. Weinstein, BA’85, BCL’91, LLB’91
Vice-Principal (Development and Alumni Relations)
Click here to see the Campaign thank-you ad that appeared in the Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette on June 22, 2013.