Quick Links

Distinguished Alumni Awards

For information and nomination forms, please click here.

The Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award was created by the Macdonald Branch of the McGill Alumni Association to recognize distinguished graduates who have made outstanding contributions. The first Awards were presented at Homecoming 2006.

In 2009, we were pleased to introduce the Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the achievements and contributions of our younger alumni. Like the Distinguished Alumni Award, this award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishments and/or service to the community at large.

This year at Homecoming, we honoured a graduate whose accomplishments are of such excellence that they provide inspiration and leadership to future generations of Macdonald graduates.


Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award: GERALD A. MULLIGAN, BScAgr‘52

Dean Chandra Madramootoo presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to Gerald Mulligan


Gerald A. (Gerry) Mulligan, a 1952 graduate of Macdonald College, has had a career of more than 60 years in the Canada Department of Agriculture in Ottawa as a Scientist, Research Director, and latterly as an Honorary Research Associate. For many years he monitored the research programs of scientists and managed the Canadian National Collections of insects, arachnids, nematodes, fungi, and vascular plants. He was the sole Canadian invited to present a paper at The Genetics of Colonizing Species, the first symposium organized by The International Union of Biological Sciences. This symposium is now credited with initiating the study of the genetics and evolution of invasive species.

He has published many research papers, books, and  has five websites on line. His counter on one website, Common Weeds of the United States and Canada (weedscanada.ca) recorded 682,717 visits up to September 18, 2014. He has determined and published the chromosome numbers for species of most plant families found in Canada and the United States, and has named many new plant species  from Alaska to California and from British Columbia to Quebec. He co-founded the Biology of Canadian Weeds series and edited the series for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science for many years.

He has been active in national and international associations and was a founding member of several, including the Canadian Botanical Association, the Genetics Society of Canada, the International Organization of Plant Bioystematics, and the Association of Systematic Collections. He served as President of the Canadian Botanical Society and was awarded its George Lawson Medal in 2006.