As Co-Chair of Campaign McGill: History in the Making, Senator Michael Meighen is a tireless champion of McGill, ready to sing the praises of the institution from which he graduated in 1960. “McGill is a real jewel–a shining star in Canadian higher learning,” Meighen says.
A member of McGill’s Board of Governors and a long-time volunteer, Meighen is closely acquainted with McGill, both as it is and as it aspires to be. With two of his sons currently enrolled at the University, he now has even more reason to devote him-self to the McGill of the future. At the October launch of the Campaign, Meighen noted that “McGill has a tradition of rising to any challenge, and that’s exactly what we have set out to do.”
True to form, he himself rose to the challenge with his wife, Kelly, making an impressive gift of $5-million. The Kelly and Michael Meighen Endowment for Student Advising and Support will be earmarked to strengthen student services, academic advising, and programs aimed at easing student integration into university life.
“When you have students coming here from other parts of the province, the country and the world, some of them as young as 17 or 18, it’s essential to give them a helping hand,” Meighen says.
Morton Mendelson, Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), explains the vital importance of the Meighen's gift. "Students who are more engaged in student life are more likely to succeed in their studies," he says. "They are also more likely to be engaged with McGill throughout their lives."
In addition to his deep involvement with his alma mater, Meighen is a prodigious volunteer, contributing to numerous other causes, including chairing such organizations as the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. But he characterizes his work for McGill as acting on a larger stage: “It’s important for Canada to have places like McGill that are recognized at the highest levels worldwide.”
In order for the University to maintain its distinguished position, Meighen encourages others to generously support Campaign McGill. “We will be reaching out to alumni and friends, not just in Montreal and Quebec, but across Canada and around the world,” he says, then stresses: “We simply will not be able to do this without unprecedented private support.”