Dear Alumni and Friends,

In early February, in celebration of the upcoming Bicentennial, McGill received the largest ever gift to a Canadian university—$200-million from McGill alumnus John McCall MacBain and his wife, Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain. The McCall MacBain Scholarships will provide outstanding graduate students the opportunity to pursue a master’s or professional degree at McGill and we look forward to these students joining our ranks in the years to come. Thank you to the McCall MacBain family for their vision and generosity that will impact the lives of many McGill students.

McGill24, McGill’s fourth annual day of giving, raised over $2.3M in 24-hours, breaking its previous record. Thanks to your outpouring of support, in supporting McGill24 and the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. We raised $47,000 from 150 donors with $25,000 in Challenge Funds – funds which were released from numerous generous donors, including our Faculty Advisory Board – to further support the growth of student experiential learning and entrepreneurial programs at Macdonald. Thanks to your generosity, our students excel in their undertakings and demonstrate outstanding creativity in their endeavours.

Kudos and congratulations are extended to:

  • Professor George McCourt (McGill School of Environment and Natural Resource Sciences), who recently received the Catalyst Award for Distinguished Contribution to sustainability initiatives at McGill. This award recognizes an administrative or academic staff member who has made a profound, sustained and cumulative contribution to advancing sustainability in the larger McGill community. George’s commitment to sustainability has been a cornerstone of his 21-year career at McGill. Through his teaching and research, George encourages students to apply a sustainability lens to work that impacts their broader communities, often using the Campus as a living lab under the Applied Student Research project model;
  • Natural Resource Sciences PhD candidates Allyson Menzies and Marianne Falardeau-Côté, as well as Emeritus Professor David Bird, who received well-deserved acknowledgement for their outstanding communication outreach efforts during the Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement through Media event;
  • Prize-winning entrepreneurs—Jamie Lee (BSc NutrSc’19) and Isabelle Lam (BSc NutrSc’19), who successfully pitched their reMIXed snacks on Dragon’s Den!
  • The six Macdonald teams, out of a semi-final field of 40, who competed in the McGill Dobson Cup. Three of these teams won prizes and have secured start-up funds – and we will report on these teams in more detail in the Summer Edition of Focus on Macdonald.

On March 30, I was pleased to be part of Food for Life— an event recognizing innovative research and programming undertaken by the Faculty. The event, organized by the Macdonald University Advancement Office in partnership with the School of Human Nutrition and the Department of Food Science, was attended by more than 65 McGill and Macdonald alumni who participated in various activities and enjoyed a 100-Mile Meal prepared by Dietetics students. You can read more about the event in this newsletter.

In closing, I would like to thank all our alumni for the support they have shown over the years, supporting programs, experiential learning, innovation and entrepreneurship. Macdonald is a special place for so many, and your generous support will continue to make it so for future generations.

[photos by Owen Egan]