By Gary Francoeur
On the heels of the 47th annual Vanier Cup university championship, entrepreneur Robert B. Winsor, BEng’62, and his wife Susan have made a $1.5-million donation to support McGill football.
The gift, the largest ever to a McGill varsity team, will establish the Bob and Sue Winsor Redmen Football Program Endowment. The funds, which will be invested by the University to create an income stream in perpetuity, will support coaching, player recruitment and program development.
“Bob and Sue Winsor have been incredibly supportive of McGill Athletics and our football program for many years,” said Drew Love, executive director of Athletics and Recreation. “Gifts of this
nature are important as they reinforce our commitment to excellence and enhance the overall experience of our student-athletes.”
Winsor, a native of Montreal, is owner, chairman and CEO of Holden America Inc. and its related firms, which are engaged in the railway equipment business. As a student in the 1960s he played varsity football for the Redmen, both as a defensive halfback and offensive end, and helped the team win the Yates Cup league title in 1960. He credits his experience in sports for providing him with the confidence, character and discipline to succeed in business.
“I am very fortunate to have had the privilege to play for the McGill Redmen and particularly in 1960 and ‘61,” he said. “These outstanding teams were peopled with the finest group of men I have ever met. It is my belief that McGill, as part of its recognized leadership role, needs to offer the opportunity for student-athletes to compete on top-tier competitive teams. We see our gift as an opportunity to make a solid investment to this end for the varsity football program at McGill.”
Winsor, who has given back to McGill for more than 45 years, is a long-time volunteer, having served as a governor of the University, a member of both the Athletics Board and Alumni Association. He continues to serve as a trustee of the Martlet Foundation and as a member of both the Sports Hall of Fame Committee and the Athletics and Recreation Advisory Board.
Alumni support group
Winsor was also instrumental in the creation of the Friends of McGill Football, an alumni support group that helps stimulate the program’s interests through fundraising. He helped create the Winsor Varsity Clinics in both the Currie Gymnasium and McConnell Arena, providing medical and therapy services to student-athletes.