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McGill University receives landmark gift

Published: 24 May 2000

An extraordinarily generous gift to McGill University by one of its graduates, Canadian scientist and businessman Richard H.Tomlinson, is the largest-ever single donation to the University and probably the largest in the history of Canadian higher education.

Students, faculty, science education, medicine and libraries to benefit

An extraordinarily generous gift to McGill University by one of its graduates, Canadian scientist and businessman Richard H.Tomlinson, is the largest-ever single donation to the University and probably the largest in the history of Canadian higher education. "We are dazzled not only by the size of the gift but also by its scope and imagination, which will benefit a host of University priorities," declared Principal Bernard Shapiro, in announcing the gift today. At more than $60 million, the Tomlinson gift will support:

  • the creation of six fully funded University Chairs at $2 million each;
  • the creation of more than 40 endowed Fellowships of $15,000, $20,000 or $25,000 per year for graduate students (this will have the effect of increasing the number of fellowships the University can offer by 25%);
  • the injection of $4 million in Scholarships, allowing McGill to offer 40 more scholarships per year;
  • the expansion of digitization in the McGill University Libraries to improve service to students and faculty, augment electronic resources and preserve key library holdings;
  • the creation of a special endowment to promote science teaching, particularly with a view to integrating information technologies;
  • the establishment of a fund to encourage young surgeons in their medical and clinical research.

"From this date forward, Dr. Richard Tomlinson’s name will join those of Molson, McConnell, Stewart, Macdonald, Bronfman, Stern, and James McGill himself, all benefactors whose exceptional and timely donations are landmarks in McGill’s history," said Principal Shapiro. "Gifts of this magnitude also inspire other donors and potential donors and send the message that those closest to the University -- its graduates -- feel it is worthy of substantial support." He added, "Dr. Tomlinson has been a faithful ally of McGill in the past -- his first gift was a Chair in Chemistry, the Department where he earned his PhD in 1948 -- and we are honoured that his belief in our institution and its impact on society has never wavered." Dr. Tomlinson, an enthusiastic runner and marathoner, has also provided financial support for Tomlinson Hall, which connects McGill’s new sports complex with the Sir Arthur Currie Gymnasium on Pine Avenue.

Richard H. Tomlinson is a founding director of Gennum Corporation, the world’s largest maker of microchips for hearing aids and one of the biggest suppliers of chips for digital signal processing TV equipment. According to him, "It was vital that the greatest portion of this gift be used to attract the brightest or retain the best students and faculty," hence the emphasis on academic chairs, scholarships and fellowships.

The bulk of the recent donation, which came to McGill in the form of cash and securities, will be invested in the University’s endowment. "This means that Dr. Tomlinson’s philanthropy will keep on working for McGill in perpetuity and will help to launch a renewed development program for this decade," said Principal Shapiro. "Truly a most auspicious way in which to begin the new millennium!"

Source Site: /it
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