March 9, 2022 marks the return of McGill 24, the University’s Annual Giving Day. This year, gifts made by McGill’s 2022 graduating class and recent alumni to Crowdfunding initiatives will be matched up to dollar for dollar.
Young alumni are the driving force behind fundraising initiatives that are proving to be a significant game changer in raising funds for important research projects, athletics teams and various academic initiatives. McGill Crowdfunding is a great way for current and former students to take an active part in their fundraising, sharing their fundraising page with friends, peers, faculty, and their community at large.
In recent years, McGill’s Research Group in Constitutional Studies (RGCS) has successfully raised funds for a student fellowship endowment, thanks in large part to the support of alumni and faculty. The RGCS brings together students and faculty from the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy and the Faculty of Law. Funding from the research group gives students the opportunity to participate in summer programs, graduate manuscript workshops, visiting lecture series and even the occasional relevant opera.
The RGCS’s weekly reading groups give students the freedom to explore various areas of academic interests beyond graded work in the classroom. Former RGCS fellow, Gracie Gallay, BA’18, joined the RGCS during her freshman year at McGill. After taking Professor Levy’s Introduction to Political Theory Course, Gallay realized she wanted to pursue Political Theory. “RGCS’s weekly reading group provided me and other fellows the freedom to explore our academic passions beyond graded work,” she says, “along with the long-term and comfortable space to engage with and exchange our shifting perspectives on key works. Since graduating from McGill, Gallay has pursued a master’s degree in Political Science at Oxford University. “I’ll be forever grateful for the ways in which RGCS expanded my academic horizons,” says Gallay.
RGCS coordinator and Chair of the Department of Political Science, Professor Jacob Levy has taken part in the crowdfunding for the past several years. Levy notes that had the research group gone the route of more traditional fundraising methods, it would have probably taken a 10-15 year campaign to build an endowment that would support the fellowship in perpetuity. “It’s been a very successful first two years,” said Professor Levy, “but there’s more to do! We hope that each year’s graduating students will keep the program in mind as they become alumni/ae themselves.”
It’s a great testament to the research group’s community both within and outside McGill, that recent alumni like Gracie Gallay are actively taking part in fundraising for the group’s current and future students. “I deeply appreciate the supportive learning environment the research group provided,” Gallay says, “I know RGCS offered the same for many of my peers and I want future students to continue to receive the same support we did.”
This year, the RGCS is taking part once more in McGill’s Crowdfunding during McGill 24. Gallay, Professor Levy and several other faculty members and alumni of the group are continuing their fundraising efforts. You can find out more about the RGCS's funding project here.