A look back at 2019: Who were McGill’s ground breakers and difference makers?

Before we say goodbye to 2019, we take a look back at the people and events that shaped McGill this past year

As is our habit here at the McGill Reporter, we like end the calendar year with a look back on 2019. What were the McGill Reporter stories that captured the attention of our readers? What events marked the University? Which members of our community emerged as newsmakers by breaking new ground, blazing new trails and giving to the community – locally and more globally?

Top McGill Reporter stories of 2019

Rankings. While rankings stories are always popular among our readers, this year proved especially so. In compiling the most-viewed Reporter articles of 2019, we were somewhat surprised to see that four of the Top 10 stories – including the top three spots – were rankings results.

The Top 10 most viewed McGill Reporter stories included:

  1. McGill on the rise in annual QS World University Rankings by Subject
    This set of Quacquarelli Symonds rankings evaluates 48 of the most popular subjects with students around the world, making it one of the most comprehensive ranking of its kind. McGill rises in rank in twenty‐four subjects compared to last year’s results, and declines in eight. Read more. (Posted in February).
  2. McGill #30 in the world
    The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) releases the results of its 2019-2020 rankings – and McGill’s teaching and research strengths secure the University’s place as #30 out of the 20,000 universities that the CWUR assessed. Full story. (August)
  3. McGill among the top 50 most prestigious universities in the world
    McGill moves up to 42nd on the Times Higher Education rankings among almost 1,400 universities from 92 countries. Learn more. (September)
  4. In memoriam: Kelly Nobes (1974 – 2019): McGill hockey coach was 45
    The McGill community was saddened to learn of the death of Kelly Nobes, head coach of McGill’s men’s varsity hockey program on September 4. He was 45. Read the article. (September)
  5. McGill-led research unravels mystery of how early animals survived ice age
    How did life survive the planet’s most severe ice age? A McGill-led research team has found the first direct evidence that glacial meltwater provided a crucial lifeline to eukaryotes during Snowball Earth, when the oceans were cut off from life-giving oxygen, answering a question puzzling scientists for years. More details. (December)
  6. Eleven members of the McGill Community appointed to the Order of Canada
    Filmmakers, lawyers, doctors – even a former television Dragon – are among 11 members of the McGill community to be appointed to the Order of Canada. More information. (July)
  7. Jane Goodall to return to McGill to deliver the 2019 Beatty Lecture
    It is announced that famed researcher and nature conservation advocate Dr. Jane Goodall would deliver the 65th Beatty Lecture in September, 40 years after her first Beatty Lecture appearance in 1979. Full story. (April)
  8. McGill tops Maclean’s rankings for 15th straight year
    Maclean’s Magazine issues its annual university rankings in October and, for the 15th consecutive year, McGill is named Canada’s top medical-doctoral university. The medical-doctoral category includes 15 Canadian universities, each with a medical school and a wide range of PhD programs. Read more. (October)
  9. Historic gift launches McCall MacBain Scholarships
    John and Marcy McCall MacBain announce the creation of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill through a landmark gift of $200 million, the single-largest gift in Canadian history. Learn more. (February)
  10. McGill postdocs and grad students earn prestigious scholarships
    Sixteen McGill grad students win Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, and two postdocs receive Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. Read the article. (May)

Of course, 10 stories don’t even come close to illustrating what a busy – and impactful – year 2019 was at McGill. From student successes, staff celebrations and major funding announcements, to scientific breakthroughs, sustainability initiatives and the launch of a bold fundraising campaign, the University didn’t rest on its laurels.

Here’s a month-by-month recap of some of McGill’s most compelling stories of 2019 (not including the Top 10 stories above).













As we close out 2019, the staff of the McGill Reporter wish all our readers nothing but the good stuff for 2020. Health, happiness and lots and lots of love!