A Transformative Gift
On April 30th 2015, the Schulich School of Music announced that McGill alumna Elizabeth A. Wirth, BA’64 had made a major gift to enhance student-related programs at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. The donation was the latest in a series of generous gifts she has made to the School, and in recognition of this exceptional generosity, McGill named the new music building in her honour.
Wirth’s gift provides endowed support for three new initiatives:
- a suite of Student Excellence Awards, presented annually to outstanding students in undergraduate, graduate and diploma programs, further strengthening the School’s ability to attract and retain top student talent
- a new Student Initiatives Fund, enabling the School to support activities that directly benefit students, including internships and student travel opportunities that enhance the academic experience and allow students to showcase their talents nationally and globally
- a $25,000 Prize in Vocal Performance, awarded annually to a voice student in the School who demonstrates exceptional skill and artistry. The first such award will be presented in the 2015-16 academic year.
Elizabeth Wirth, BA’64
Ms. Elizabeth Wirth is President and CEO of Wirth-Brand Inc. and Wirth Trading Inc., Montréal-based internationally active metals companies specializing in flat rolled aluminum. She is also chairman and a founding director of Wirth Rail Corporation, supplying rail across North and South America.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Ms. Wirth attended primary and secondary schools in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Montréal. She is an honours graduate in political science and history at McGill, and did graduate studies at Université de Génève.
A long time champion of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Ms. Wirth has been a member of the Faculty Advisory Board for 13 years, and has served as chair since 2008. She and her family donated funds to create the Wirth Opera Studio, a state-of-the-art rehearsal space for students in the Department of Performance, as well as a matching fund drive to complete the MMR (Music Mulitmedia Room) control room.
Ms. Wirth’s special focus is on the School’s music students, whose incredibly high standards, hard work, and unbelievable modesty make her a loyal fan. She gratefully attends many of their performances, and thinks others are missing out big time if they do not do the same! She has contributed to many scholarships, fellowships and awards to support these hugely talented individuals.
An active volunteer committed to the community, Ms. Wirth is President of the Viennese Ball of Montréal, Past-President of the Austrian Society of Montréal, Past-President of the University Women’s Club, President of the UWC Foundation, and an Honorary Trustee and Past-President of Théâtre Lac-Brome.