William Ritchie (far right) at the unveiling of the Sir William Macdonald Statue, along with (l to r) the Faculty’s Dean, Chandra Madramootoo, Bsc(AgrEng)’77, MSc’81, PhD’85, Helen Tyros, BCom’96, former Bank of Montreal Vice-President, and sculptor Tino Petronzio
Photo: Allen McInnis
An undergraduate education that continues to resonate 60 years after graduation is something to be celebrated and supported. “I’ve said throughout my life that I attribute any modest success I may have had to my parents and to the four wonderful years I spent at Macdonald College,” says Bill Ritchie, BSc(Agr)’51.
No one epitomizes commitment to his alma mater like Ritchie, who received the McGill Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1976 and its highest honour, the Award of Merit, in 2000, in addition to the Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.
The retired Halifax-based businessman also played a key role in arranging to have a statue of Sir William Macdonald erected on campus, and has been the driving force behind many Class of ’51 reunions, including events hosted every two or three years across North America. “We still get 40 to 50 people for our reunions,” he notes proudly. “We alumni owe so much to Macdonald College that we have to support it.”
Through his gift of $100,000, which has been matched by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Ritchie created the J. William and Lorna K. Ritchie Macdonald College Clan Scholarships, which aim to nurture this same commitment in today’s students. “The ideal recipient of the scholarship is a student who is academically sound and contributes to extracurricular life on campus,” says Ritchie.
The scholarships will support an outstanding student entering second year in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences or School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
“I feel as those people come along, they should be rewarded with some assistance,” he says.