McGILL'S 250,000 LIVING ALUMNI ARE PULITZER WINNERS, NOBEL LAUREATES AND ACADEMY AWARD RECIPIENTS. They’re trailblazers in the arts, sciences, business and beyond, leveraging their McGill education to make medical breakthroughs and explore the human condition. They live in some 180 nations across the globe, but whatever their passion, wherever their home, McGill grads make a difference.
Here’s a sampling:
- Three McGill grads – Julie Payette, BEng'86, Robert Thirsk, MDCM'82, and Dave Williams, BSc'76, MSc'83, MDCM'83, DSc'07 – have explored the final frontier. (Actually, it's four, if you count William Shatner, BCom’52.)
- Jade Raymond, BSc’98, is Managing Director of Ubisoft Toronto. She played a key role in developing Assassin’s Creed, one of the hottest video game franchises around.
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- Mike Babcock, BEd'86, swears that when he coached the NHL's Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup and won Olympic gold at the helm of Canada's men's hockey team, his lucky McGill tie played a big role in his success. To counteract Babcock's unfair neckwear advantage, Guy Boucher, BA’95, BSc(AgrEng)’96, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, plans to sport his own McGill tie next time his team faces Detroit.
- Few artists have garnered praise as wide – and varied – as Leonard Cohen, BA’55, DLitt’92. The poet-cum-singer has won literary awards and Grammys alike, and was once named the most desirable male resident of Montreal, his hometown. Cohen can now add another distinction to an already impressive list: member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, to which he was recently inducted.
- Sarah McCuaig, BSc’13, is a Rhodes Scholar currently studying at the University of Oxford. Born and raised in Waterloo, Ont., McCuaig was an accomplished student and team captain for the McGill track and cross-country teams, earning Academic All-Canadian status, making the Principal’s Student-Athlete Honour Roll and qualifying for the Dean’s Honour List.
- Willard Boyle earned a Nobel Prize for co-inventing the charged-couple device, the core technology behind today's digital photography revolution. Boyle was also on the scientific team that helped NASA select the site for the first Apollo landing on the moon.
- Chloe Wilde, BSc’11, is MuchMusic’s newest on-air personality after winning its VJ Search. Born in Montreal and now living in Toronto, Wilde beat out over 500 initial applicants and then 19 entrants on a reality show to earn the coveted job. Find out more.
- In 1911, German scientist Otto Röhm invented a resilient, flexible and transparent substance. Trouble was, one key ingredient was hard to find: methyl methacrylate. Enter William Chalmers, PhD'30, a McGill graduate student who devised a new method for producing the chemical. Knowing that Imperial Chemical Industries in Britain was doing similar work, Chalmers sold them his patent. One of the first commercial uses for ICI's Perspex—now known as Plexiglas—was to make see-through machine gun turrets for B-19 bombers. Today, Plexiglas is used in everything from aquariums to contact lenses to motorcycle helmets.
- When Foreign Policy magazine released its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2010, Steven Pinker, BA’76, DSc’99, made the cut, along with such household names as Warren Buffett, Barack Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi. A professor at Harvard University, Pinker is a celebrated experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author, with particular worldwide renown for his work on the psychology of language.
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