John McCall MacBain gives back to McGill


John McCall MacBain, an international entrepreneur and philanthropist, has donated $5-million to McGill University, his alma mater, to create graduate fellowships in the Faculty of Arts.

"McGill played a critical role in my life," said Mr. McCall MacBain, 49, who received an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from McGill, where he served as President of the McGill Students' Society. After being named Valedictorian of his graduating McGill class, Mr. McCall MacBain later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Canada, where his father, Al MacBain, QC, was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 1980-84. Mr. McCall MacBain now resides in Geneva, Switzerland.

"My McGill education paved the way for me to study law at Oxford and business at Harvard, and then to begin my entrepreneurial career," he said, adding that the $5-million gift, made together with his wife, Marcy McCall MacBain, is an investment in creating opportunity for today's McGill students. "Thanks in large part to McGill, I was able to lay the foundations of an interesting career as an entrepreneur and builder of businesses around the world – something for which I'll always be grateful."

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum announced the gift and thanked the couple at the launch of Campaign McGill, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University's history.

"Graduate students are at the heart of university research and teaching, and have been behind many of the most important discoveries of our time," said Prof. Munroe-Blum. "This gift will have a major impact on our ability to compete successfully for the world's best graduate students, and to attract more superbly talented young researchers to Montreal."

Mr. McCall MacBain is the founder and former CEO of Trader Classified Media, one of the world's largest publishers of classified advertising magazines and websites. After selling the company in 2006, he and his wife established the non-profit McCall MacBain Foundation, a Geneva-based organization that focuses primarily on health and education in sub-Saharan Africa, climate change and social enterprise.

On the Web: Campaign McGill

Contact Information

Michael Bourguignon
McGill University
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