List of McGill University people

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The following is a list of chancellors, principals, and noted alumni and professors of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

List of chancellors[edit]

  1. Charles Dewey Day (1864–1884) [1]
  2. James Ferrier (1884–1888) [1]
  3. Sir Donald Alexander Smith, Lord Strathcona (1889–1914) [1]
  4. Sir William Christopher Macdonald (1914–1917) [1]
  5. Sir Robert Laird Borden (1918–1920) [1]
  6. Sir Edward Wentworth Beatty (1921–1942) [1]
  7. Morris Watson Wilson (1943–1946) [1]
  8. Orville Sievwright Tyndale (1946–1952) [1]
  9. Bertie Charles Gardner (1952–1957) [1]
  10. Ray Edwin Powell (1957–1964) [1]
  11. Howard Irwin Ross (1964–1970) [1]
  12. Donald Olding Hebb (1970–1974) [1]
  13. Stuart Milner Finlayson (1975) [1]
  14. Conrad Fetherstonhaugh Harrington (1976–1984) [1]
  15. A. Jean de Grandpré (1984–1991) [1]
  16. Gretta Chambers (1991–1999) [2]
  17. Richard W. Pound (1999–2009) [3]
  18. H. Arnold Steinberg (2009–2014)
  19. Michael A. Meighen (2014–Present)

List of principals[edit]

  1. George Jehoshaphat Mountain (1824–1835) [4]
  2. John Bethune (1835–1846) [4]
  3. Edmund Allen Meredith (1846–1853) [4]
  4. Sir John William Dawson (1855–1893) [4]
  5. Sir William Peterson (1895–1919) [4]
  6. Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes (1919–1920) [4]
  7. General Sir Arthur Currie (1920–1933) [4]
  8. Arthur Eustace Morgan (1935–1937) [4]
  9. Lewis Williams Douglas (1938–1939) [4]
  10. Frank Cyril James (1939–1962) [4]
  11. Harold Rocke Robertson (1962–1970) [4]
  12. Robert Edward Bell (1970–1979) [4]
  13. David Lloyd Johnston (1979–1994) [4]
  14. Bernard Shapiro (1994–2002) [4]
  15. Heather Munroe-Blum (2003-2013) [5]
  16. Suzanne Fortier (2013- )

Noted alumni and professors[edit]

Nobel Prize graduates and faculty members[edit]

Nobel Prize.png
Name Affiliation at McGill Nobel Prize Year
John O'Keefe Alumnus Physiology or Medicine 2014
Ralph M. Steinman Alumnus Physiology or Medicine 2011
Willard S. Boyle Alumnus Physics 2009
Jack Szostak Alumnus Physiology or Medicine 2009
Robert Mundell Former professor Economics 1998
Rudolph Marcus Alumnus Chemistry 1992
David Hunter Hubel Alumnus Physiology or Medicine 1981
Val Logsdon Fitch Alumnus Physics 1980
Andrew Schally Alumnus Physiology or Medicine 1977
Otto Hahn Scientist Chemistry 1944
Frederick Soddy Former demonstrator Chemistry 1921
Ernest Rutherford Former professor Chemistry 1908

The count of Nobel laureates affiliated with McGill is sometimes incorrectly elevated to thirteen as Mohan Munasinghe, an alumnus of McGill, was a Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) when the IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.

Academy Award graduates[edit]

Main article: Academy Awards
Name Affiliation at McGill Academy Award Year
Torill Kove Alumnus Best Animated Short Film 2006
Edward Saxon Alumnus Best Picture 1991
Jake Eberts Alumnus Best Picture 1990
John Weldon Alumnus Best Animated Short Film 1978
Beverly Shaffer Alumnus Best Live Action Short Film 1977
Burt Bacharach Alumnus Best Original Song 1969, 1981
Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (not a Musical) 1969

Pulitzer Prize graduates[edit]

Gen pulitzer.jpg
Name Affiliation at McGill Pulitzer Prize Year
John F. Burns Alumnus International Reporting 1993, 1997
Charles Krauthammer Alumnus Commentary 1987
Leon Edel Alumnus Biography or Autobiography 1963

Academics and scholars[edit]

Business and media[edit]

Politics and government[edit]

Canadian politicians and civil servants[edit]

McGill Alumni have held and continue to hold many positions at the Federal and Provincial levels in Canadian politics:

Governor-General of Canada[edit]
Prime Ministers and Cabinet Ministers[edit]
  • Sir John Abbott (BCL 1854) — Third Prime Minister of Canada and first to be born in Canada.[16]
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier (BCL 1864) — Seventh Prime Minister of Canada[16]
  • Warren Allmand (BCL 1952) — served variously as Solicitor General, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs between 1972 and 1979.
  • Irwin Cotler (BA 1961) — Justice Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006.
  • Chris Alexander (BA 1989) — Minister of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada since 2013. Previously Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005.
Supreme Court Justices[edit]
  • Charles Gonthier (BCL 1951) — Served on the Supreme Court from 1989 to 2003.[16]
  • Ian Binnie (BA 1960) — Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1998, formerly Associate Deputy Minister of Justice[16]
  • Marie Deschamps (LLM 1983) — Appointed to the Court in 2002, previously a Judge on the Quebec Court of Appeal.[16]
  • Morris Fish (BA 1959, BCL 1962) — Appointed to the Court in 2003, previously a Judge on the Quebec Court of Appeal.[16]
  • Gerald Le Dain (BCL 1949) — Appointed to the Court in 1984, previously a Judge on the Federal Court of Appeal.[1]
  • Louis-Philippe de Grandpré (BCL 1938) — Appointed to the Court in 1974, formerly president of the Canadian Bar Association.[2]
  • Douglas Abbott (BCL 1918) — Appointed to the Court in 1954, previously Minister of National Defence and Minister of Finance.[3]
  • Thibaudeau Rinfret (BCL 1900) — Appointed to the Court in 1924, previously a Judge on the Superior Court of Quebec.[4]
  • Pierre-Basile Mignault (BCL 1878) — Appointed to the Court in 1918, previously President of the Bar of Montréal.[5]
  • Désiré Girouard (BCL 1860) Appointed to the Court in 1895, previously member of Parliament.[6]
  • Clément Gascon (BCL 1981) Appointed to the Court in 2014, previously a Judge on the Quebec Court of Appeal.
Auditors General[edit]

Foreign politicians and civil servants[edit]

Heads of State[edit]

Art, music, and film[edit]


  • Bernard Belleau — inventor of Lamivudine, a drug used in the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis B infection
  • Willard Boyle, inventor of the Charge-coupled device (CCD)
  • William Chalmers — first in the Western Hemisphere to investigate methacrylate plastics
  • Thomas Chang — creator of first artificial cell
  • James Creighton — Law, 1880, generally considered to be the originator of North American ice hockey rules
  • Charles R. Drew — MDCM '33, black American medical pioneer, track star who led McGill to five intercollegiate titles, and, as medical advisor for the Blood for Britain program of World War II, the father of blood banks
  • Alan Emtage — inventor of Archie, the grandfather of search engines
  • Colonel Dr. Cluny MacPherson — MD 1901, inventor of the MacPherson respirator gas mask during World War I.
  • James Naismith — BA 1887, inventor of basketball, legendary University of Kansas coach after whom 6 NCAA college basketball awards are named
  • Paul Moller — inventor of the Moller Skycar, a VTOL aircraft


Fictional characters[edit]

  • Dr. James WilsonOncologist and best friend to main character Gregory House in Fox Network TV drama House.
  • Dr. Walter Langkowski, a fictional researcher from the Marvel Comics Canadian superhero series Alpha Flight. Langkowski was portrayed as McGill-based biophysicist researching the gamma radiation accident which created the Hulk. His discoveries transformed him into the superhero known as Sasquatch.
  • Major Donald Craig, a Canadian commando serving with British special forces during World War II, portrayed by Rock Hudson in the 1967 war movie Tobruk. Though the film was loosely based on real events, it's not clear whether or not Hudson's character was based on a real person. Most likely he was a pastiche character, given a Canadian background as cover for Hudson's inability to emulate a British accent.
  • Lieutenant Alan McGregor, played by Gary Cooper, Lives Of the Bengal Lancers (1935)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Chancellors of McGill University". McGill University Archives. 
  2. ^ "Gretta Chambers, CC, OQ, LL" (PDF). Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. 
  3. ^ "The Chancellor". McGill University. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Principals Appointed by Resolution". McGill University Archives. 
  5. ^ "Meet Principal Heather Munroe-Blum". McGill University. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ About the Dean
  8. ^ Neale's obituary on
  9. ^ National Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York: James T. White Co., 1896, p. 95. Accessed 2013-08-19.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Conrad Black's Canadian Who's Who 1997 entry". University of Toronto Press. McGill Univ. M.A. 1973 
  12. ^ "Edgar M. Bronfman's Canadian Who's Who 1997 entry". University of Toronto Press. McGill Univ., B.A. 1951 
  13. ^ "Charles Bronfman's Canadian Who's Who 1997 entry". University of Toronto Press. McGill Univ. 
  14. ^ "John Cleghorn's Canadian Who's Who 1997 entry". University of Toronto Press. McGill Univ. B.Com. 1962; C.A. 1964 
  15. ^ "Paul Desmarais, Jr.'s Canadian Who's Who 1997 entry". University of Toronto Press. McGill Univ. B.Comm. 1977 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n
  17. ^ Block, Irwin (2011-03-04). "Former Westmount mayor dies at 87". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  18. ^ Scott, Marian (May 4, 2011). "McGill 5 head off to House of Commons". The Gazette. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Mayer confirmed as gallery director", The Globe and Mail, December 8, 2008.
  20. ^ Dean Rosenthal - Sequenza21/NetNewMusic Wiki
  21. ^ Matthew White (Counter-tenor) - Short Biography
  22. ^