Opening of William and Mary Brown Building

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Student leadership celebrated at McGill University: William and Mary Brown Student Services Building to be inaugurated tomorrow

Calling it "a powerful example of students working with McGill alumni and friends to create a better University," Principal Bernard Shapiro will join Dean of Students Rosalie Jukier tomorrow to celebrate the opening of the William and Mary Brown Student Services Building, starting at 10:00 am (3600 McTavish Street). The McGill undergraduate student body has pledged $3 million toward the cost of the new structure, and a combination of funds from donors together with University operating and capital monies has underwritten the remaining $7.5 million cost.

"At last we are able to bring the full cluster of services we offer, from Career & Placement to Health to Student Aid and all the rest, out of totally inadequate and unattractive quarters into a wonderful, bright, functional central location that spells service with a capital S," says Dean Jukier enthusiastically.

Linked to the students’ own building next door, the William and Mary Brown Building was designed by a consortium of two Montreal architectural firms (Architem, and Fichten, Soiferman).

"The opening of this long-awaited building also gives us a chance to celebrate 100 years of student leadership at McGill," notes Jukier. To honour the many decades of student leadership, past Students’ Society executives have been specially invited back to the University for a ceremony later in the day, unveiling the Presidents’ Hall in the corridor which links the student-owned University Centre with the William and Mary Brown Building. On the wall will be the names of all student presidents dating back to the turn of the century.

Mary Brown was born in 1910 and grew up in a family in which knowledge and learning were highly prized. Uncommonly for women in her day, she pursued higher education at length, including an MA from McGill in 1933. Her husband William (Bill) supported Mary’s desire to make an extraordinarily generous gift to her alma mater, and thus their names will be forever linked to student service and to the building they helped make a reality.

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