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History in the Making

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Published: 18 Oct 2007

McGill campaign to target global research, social justice and enhanced student experience

McGill University today publicly launched a $750-million, five-year comprehensive campaign with the largest initial goal of any university fundraising campaign in Canadian history. Campaign McGill: History in the Making will kick off with a day-long celebration on the University's two campuses in Montreal. The University will use the philanthropic dollars raised to attract and retain top talent in Quebec, to increase access to quality education and to further enhance its ability to address critical global problems.

Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, McGill's Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said, "One of the great untold stories about McGill is the way in which, thanks to the passion and commitment of its faculty, staff, students and alumni, it has transcended its context as a great Canadian university to become a great international university. That has unfolded, remarkably, with relatively limited funding compared to the institutions with which we compete globally. Our mission here is to rectify that, and we couldn't be more excited about the possibilities that will bring."

The campaign will be co-chaired by Canada's former Ambassador to the United Nations, Yves Fortier, by Senator Michael Meighen and by GMP Securities Chairman Eugene McBurney. In the three years leading up to its public launch, the campaign has already raised $325-million toward its goal.

At the launch, three generous benefactors, Hydro-Québec, McGill alumnus and Trader Classified Media founder John McCall MacBain and campaign co-chair Meighen himself gave major gifts worth $10-million, $5-million and $5-million respectively.

The Hydro-Québec gift, which was presented by the utility's CEO, Thierry Vandal, will go to scholarships and graduate fellowships in engineering, science and law; three research chairs in the fields of wind and hydroelectric power, renewable energy and up-to-the-minute weather forecasting; and seed funding for cutting-edge research in sustainable development law and nano-engineering.

Senator Meighen's gift of $5-million for the Kelly and Michael Meighen Endowment for Student Advising and Support will go toward implementing the recommendations of the recent Principal's Task Force on Student Life and Learning, which targeted student advising and academic support as areas in particular need of investment.

John McCall MacBain, an Arts alumnus who served as president of the undergraduate students' society while at McGill, and his wife, Marcy McCall MacBain, donated $5-million to create a graduate fellowship program in the Faculty of Arts to encourage students to pursue their academic and career goals.

Among its other goals, the campaign will enhance McGill's position as Canada's global flagship for research, knowledge and discovery. A strategic evaluation of the University's research strengths has produced a list of five areas where new investment will achieve increased impact for McGill, Quebec, Canada and the world: advancing health, building economic equality, fueling innovation, protecting the environment and strengthening culture and civil society.

Campaign McGill seeks the support of alumni and friends worldwide to fund the following priorities:

  • Attracting and retaining top faculty: $248-million
  • Attracting and supporting top undergraduate and graduate students: $190-million
  • Transforming the student experience: $49-million
  • Building the infrastructure to support McGill's top talent: $112-million
  • Strengthening key teaching and research programs: $90-million
  • Strengthening library support for teaching and research: $24-million
  • Supporting emerging priorities and research needs: $37-million

Because of McGill's unique identity among North American post-secondary institutions, its funding needs are also exceptional. McGill is the only Canadian university ranked among the world's top 25 by the Times Higher Education Supplement for three years running. It is Canada's most international university, with almost 19 per cent of its 33,000 students coming from 150 countries around the globe. Yet McGill remains deeply rooted in Quebec and Canada: 57 per cent of students hail from Quebec, roughly 24 per cent are Canadians from outside Quebec, and 6,000 are francophone.

For more than 185 years, McGill University has demonstrated its deep commitment to excellence in research and teaching aimed at improving the lives of citizens everywhere; a goal in the service of which McGill researchers, students and graduates have served Quebec, Canada and the world with distinction.

On the Web: Campaign McGill

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