Founder's Day Celebrations


Centennial Centre Ballroom, 21111 Lakeshore Road, St Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, CA

Join Macdonald faculty, staff, students and friends in the annual celebration of Sir William Macdonald, Founder of Macdonald College. This year's theme is "Machines that Learn. Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?", moderated by Professor VALÉRIE GRAVEL and featuring guest speakers DAVID MEGER, Assistant Professor, McGill University, School of Computer Science & Centre for Intelligent Machines and ABHISHEK GUPTA, Founder, Montreal AI Ethics Institute. Also on the program are the presentation of Gold Key Awards to outstanding students, as well as the Macdonald Campus Award of Excellence for Administrative and Support Staff. Macdonald classes are cancelled from 13h-15h to allow everyone to attend the celebrations.

Details are available at


Founder’s Day is our annual celebration of the life and generosity of our benefactor, Sir William Christopher Macdonald. Sir William was a great industrialist and one of our country’s leading philanthropists. His greatest cause was education and his generosity toward McGill was boundless. He was one of McGill University's greatest benefactors, the fourth Chancellor of the University (1914-1917) and was dedicated to improving the quality of life in Quebec’s rural communities and training rural leaders to meet the future needs of a nation.

In 1907 Sir William founded Macdonald College as the School of Agriculture, the School of Household Science and the School for Teachers. Significant changes have taken place since the College’s founding and the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has developed into a world leader addressing global needs in the fields of food, nutrition and health, agriculture, biodiversity, applied biosciences, climate change and the environment.

The event is held on the Thursday closest to the anniversary of his birth - February 10, 1831. Founder’s Day festivities are an occasion to celebrate our history, our strengths and our promise for the future. The day’s activities are framed around the College’s Motto, Mastery for Service. Historical records describe Mastery for Service as “First, the complete Mastery of the Self for Service, as, the Mastery of the Mental processes; the Mastery of the Powers of the body, the Mastery of the Passions; the Mastery of the emotions—and second, the Mastery of the world for Service, as the service in any sphere in which one finds life."