When we were approached about becoming the Co-Chairs of the largest fundraising campaign in McGill’s history, we felt honoured, enthusiastic and, to be perfectly honest, just a little bit cautious. Were we setting the $750-million target too high? With so many worthy causes competing for attention, would our community continue to prioritize McGill in their charitable giving? Would we be able to help champion the level of philanthropic support McGill would need to realize its bold ambitious for the future?
In the end, our passion for McGill won out. And, as soon as we began to meet with alumni, parents, donors and volunteers, whether in Montreal, Toronto, London, Hong Kong or many places in between, it was clear we had made the right choice. We were overwhelmed by our community’s enthusiasm for McGill and their unreserved generosity with their time, their ideas and their gifts; an impression that has only deepened over the years we have worked on behalf of the Campaign and the University. That our global supporters gave so generously despite the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression only reinforced our sense that the McGill family is truly something special.
So today, as we celebrate a success far beyond what any of us had dared to imagine, we want to express our profound sense of pride and gratitude to have had the privilege of leading such a historic moment for McGill, for the students whose education and lives have been so positively influenced by philanthropy, and for the thousands of us around the world who hold this institution close to our hearts.
This Campaign was named “History in the Making” for a reason: from James McGill’s founding gift more than 190 years ago, through the thousands of donations, large and small, that have brought us to this historic day, philanthropy is the thread that binds McGill’s storied past with its promising future. Every one of you is part of that extraordinary continuum, and, with your continued support, we cannot wait to see where McGill’s future will take us.
The Campaign Co-Chairs:
L. Yves Fortier, CC, OQ, QC, BCL’58, LLD’05
Eugene C. McBurney, LLB’77
The Hon. Michael A. Meighen, QC, BA’60