Campaign McGill surges past $500-million mark

Principal Heather Munroe-Blum with the Campaign Co-Chairs (left to right): Michael Meighen, Yves Fortier, and Eugene McBurney. / Photo: Claudio Calligaris

By McGill Reporter Staff

Thanks to the generous support of more than 70,000 donors worldwide, Campaign McGill has raised more than $500 million in only the second year of its public phase.

Publicly launched on October 18, 2007, Campaign McGill: History in the Making is raising the funds needed to ensure McGill remains one of the world’s great research-intensive, student-centred universities. Campaign McGill is now well-positioned to reach its $750-million target, the largest starting goal at the time of any fundraising drive in the history of Canadian universities.

The achievement was announced at McGill’s inaugural Leadership Summit, an historic two-day gathering of 750 of the University’s key volunteers, senior administrators, esteemed academics and talented students.

“We are tremendously proud of having reached this milestone in Campaign McGill,” said Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum. “I am deeply grateful for the steadfast support of our McGill community – our alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends. Their outstanding commitment, during one of the most tumultuous times in recent memory, will help keep McGill at the forefront of teaching, scholarship, research and service for years to come.”

Based on a strategic evaluation of McGill’s unique strengths, Campaign McGill was created with a compelling vision for the future: attract and retain the world’s best students and faculty, increase access to quality education, and enhance McGill’s ability to address such critical world challenges as health and wellness, sustainability and global prosperity.

“When we were planning the Campaign’s launch, reaching $500 million seemed an almost impossible task,” said the Hon. Michael Meighen, BA’60, who serves as Campaign Co-Chair, alongside L. Yves Fortier, BCL’58, LLD’05, and Eugene C. McBurney, LLB’77. “But we made the decision to count on our McGill family, and so we chose the even more ambitious target of $750 million. Clearly, it was the right decision.”

Campaign McGill is the University’s first “comprehensive” fundraising campaign. Rather than a “capital” campaign which focuses on large gifts for specific purposes, a comprehensive campaign seeks gifts of all sizes for a broad range of initiatives of benefit to people and programs. To date, gifts from private individuals have contributed to 78 per cent of all giving to Campaign McGill.

“We are truly fortunate to have such loyal alumni and friends, along with our dedicated volunteers and staff members,” said Vice-Principal (Development and Alumni Relations) Marc Weinstein, BA’85, BCL/LLB’91. “And our students have always shown great leadership and support, as well. During the timeframe of Campaign McGill alone, student referenda will have collectively raised an incredible $8 million.

“This is our clarion call to keep the momentum going in the second half of the Campaign,” Weinstein added. “As the world economy begins to stabilize, we are well on our way to fulfilling Campaign McGill’s far-reaching vision for our great university.”

McGill is the only Canadian university ranked among the world’s top 25 by the prestigious Times Higher/QS World University Rankings for six years running. Last week, Times Higher released its rankings for 2009 and McGill placed 18th.

For more information on Campaign McGill, visit