McGill University

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McGill University
McGill University CoA.svg
Motto Grandescunt Aucta Labore (Latin)
Motto in English By work, all things increase and grow[1]
Established 1821
Type Public university
Endowment C$1.27 billion[2]
Budget C$775.8 million[2]
Chancellor Michael A. Meighen
Provost Anthony C. Masi
Principal Suzanne Fortier
Visitor David Johnston (as Governor General of Canada)
Academic staff 1,603[3]
Admin. staff 3,457[3]
Undergraduates 26,725[4]
Postgraduates 9,510[4]
Doctoral students 669[4]
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Campus Urban
Downtown: 32 ha (79 acres)
Macdonald Campus: 6.5 km2 (2.5 sq mi)
Former names McGill College (1821–1885)
Colours Scarlet and white          
Athletics 29 varsity teams
Nickname McGill Redmen (men's)
McGill Martlets (women's)
Mascot Marty the Martlet
Affiliations Association of American Universities, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec, Universitas 21, UArctic
Website www.mcgill.ca
McGill Wordmark.svg

McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, founded in 1821 during the British colonial era. The University bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland and alumnus of Glasgow University, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university. McGill is one of two members of the Association of American Universities located outside the United States.[5]

Its main campus is set at the foot of Mount Royal in Downtown Montreal with the second campus, situated near fields and forested lands in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, 30 kilometers west of the downtown campus on the Montreal Island. All the academic units are organized into 13 main Faculties and Schools.[6] Valued at $32,275 per student, the university maintains one of the largest endowments among Canadian universities on a per-student basis.

McGill offers degrees and diplomas in over 300 fields of study. Most students are enrolled in 5 larger Faculties, namely Arts, Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Management,[7] with the highest entering grade of any Canadian university.[8] Tuition fees vary significantly between in-province, out-of-province, and international students,[9] and the scholarships there are relatively difficult to attain, compared to other Canadian universities.[10][11][12][13]

Notable alumni include eleven Nobel Laureates, 136 Rhodes Scholars (the most in the country),[14] three astronauts, two Canadian prime ministers, 13 justices of the Canadian Supreme Court,[15] four foreign leaders, twenty-eight foreign ambassadors, nine Academy Award winners, three Pulitzer Prize winners, and twenty-eight Olympic medalists. McGill alumni were instrumental in inventing or initially organizing football, basketball, and ice hockey [16] and founding several major universities, including Johns Hopkins University, University of British Columbia, and University of Alberta.

History[edit]

Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning[edit]

The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning (RIAL) was created in 1801 under an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada - An Act for the establishment of Free Schools and the Advancement of Learning in this Province. In 1816 the RIAL was authorized to operate two new Royal Grammar Schools, in Quebec City and in Montreal. This was a turning point for public education in Lower Canada as the schools were created by legislation, the District Public Schools Act of 1807, which showed the government's willingness to support the costs of education and even the salary of a schoolmaster. This was an important first step in the creation of nondenominational schools. When James McGill died in 1813 his bequest was administered by the RIAL. The original two Royal Grammar Schools closed in 1846 and by the mid-19th century the RIAL lost control of the other 82 grammar schools it had administered.[17] Its sole remaining purpose was to administer the McGill bequest on behalf of the college. The RIAL continues to exist today; it is the corporate identity that runs the university and its various constituent bodies, including the former Macdonald College (now Macdonald Campus), the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Royal Victoria College (the former women's college turned residence). Since the revised Royal Charter of 1852, The Trustees of the RIAL comprise the Board of Governors of McGill University.[18]

McGill College[edit]

James McGill, the original benefactor of McGill University.

James McGill, born in Glasgow, Scotland on 6 October 1744, was a successful English and French-speaking merchant in Quebec, having matriculated into Glasgow University in 1756.[19] Between 1811 and 1813,[20] he drew up a will leaving his "Burnside estate", a 19-hectare (47-acre) tract of rural land and 10,000 pounds to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning.[21][22][23]

Upon McGill's death in December 1813, the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, established in 1801 by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada,[24] added the establishing of a University pursuant to the conditions of McGill's will to its original function of administering elementary education in Lower Canada. As a condition of the bequest, the land and funds had to be used for the establishment of a "University or College, for the purposes of Education and the Advancement of Learning in the said Province."[24] The will specified that a constituent college would be required to bear his name and the school must be established within 10 years of his death; otherwise the bequest would revert to the heirs of his wife.[25]

On March 31, 1821, after protracted legal battles with the Desrivieres family (the heirs of his wife), McGill College received a royal charter from King George IV. The Charter provided that the College should be deemed and taken as a University, with the power of conferring degrees.[26]

Several colleges and universities were established by McGill, including the University of British Columbia, which was known as the McGill University College of British Columbia until 1915, the University of Victoria, an affiliated junior college of McGill until 1916, and Dawson College which began in 1945 as a satellite campus of McGill to absorb the anticipated influx of students after World War II. In addition, McGill medical graduate and former professor, William Osler, was among the four founders and early faculty members of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.[27] Both founders of the University of Alberta, Premier Alexander Cameron Rutherford and Henry Marshall Tory, were also McGill alumni.

University development[edit]

Campus expansions[edit]

Sir John William Dawson, Principal of McGill University 1855-1893.
The Arts Building, completed in 1843 and designed by John Ostell, is the oldest standing building on campus.

McGill had remained inactive despite granted with a royal charter, until it had undergone several major expansions. In 1885, the university's Board of Governors formally adopted the use of the name "McGill University".

McGill College was inactive until 1829 when the Montreal Medical Institution, which had been founded in 1823, became the college's first academic unit and Canada's first medical school. The Faculty of Medicine granted its first degree, a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery, in 1833; this was also the first medical degree to be awarded in Canada.[28] The Faculty of Medicine remained the school's only functioning faculty until 1843 when the Faculty of Arts commenced teaching in the newly constructed Arts Building and East Wing (Dawson Hall).[29] The university also historically has strong linkage with the The Canadian Grenadier Guards, a military regiment in which James McGill served as the Lieutenant-Colonel. This title is marked upon the stone that stands before the Arts building, from where the Guards step off annually to commemorate Remembrance Day. The Faculty of Law was founded in 1848 which is also the oldest of its kind in the nation. 48 years later, the school of architecture at McGill University was founded as well.[30]

Sir John William Dawson, McGill's principal from 1855 to 1893, is often credited with transforming the school into a modern university.[31] He recruited the aid of Montreal's wealthiest citizens (eighty percent of Canada's wealth was then controlled by families who lived within the Golden Square Mile area that surrounded the university), many of whom donated property and funding needed to construct the campus buildings. Their names adorn many of the campus's prominent buildings. William Spier (architect) designed the addition of West Wing of the Arts Building for William Molson, 1861.[32] Alexander Francis Dunlop designed major alterations to the East Wing of McGill College (now called the Arts Building, MCGill University) for Prof. Bovey and the Science Dept., 1888.[33] This expansion of the campus continued until 1920. Buildings designed by Andrew Taylor (Architect), include the Redpath Museum (1880), Macdonald Physics Building (1893), the Redpath Library (1893), the Macdonald Chemistry Building (1896), the Macdonald Engineering Building (1907), and the Strathcona Medical Building (1907)—since renamed the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building.

In 1900, the university established the MacLennan Travelling Library. McGill University waltz composed by Frances C. Robinson, was published in Montréal by W.H. Scroggie, c 1904.[34]

McGill University and Mount Royal, 1906, Panoramic Photo Company

In 1905, the university acquired a second campus when Sir William C. Macdonald, one of the university's major benefactors, endowed a college in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, 32 kilometres west of Montreal. Macdonald College, now known as the Macdonald Campus, opened to students in 1907, originally offering programs in agriculture, household science, and teaching.

Women education[edit]

Women's education at McGill began in 1884, when Donald Smith, also known as Lord Strathcona, began funding separate lectures for women, given by university staff members. The first degrees granted to women at McGill were conferred in 1888.[35] In 1899, the Royal Victoria College (RVC) opened as a residential college for women at McGill. Until the 1970s, all female undergraduate students, known as "Donaldas," were considered to be members of RVC.[36] Beginning in the autumn of 2010, the newer Tower section of Royal Victoria College is a co-ed dormitory, whereas the older West Wing remains strictly for women. Both the Tower and the West Wing of Royal Victoria College form part of the university's residence system.

McGill in the Great War[edit]

This photo was taken at McGill University in Montreal in 1915 before the departure of the 2nd University Company for France. The Company reinforced Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on the Somme in October 1915
Stained Glass Great War Memorial (Delta Upsilon) entrance to the Blackader-Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art

McGill University played a meaningful role in the Great War. Many students and alumni enlisted in the first wave of patriotic fervor that swept the nation in 1914, but in the spring of 1915 — after the first wave of heavy Canadian casualties at Ypres — Hamilton Gault, the founder of the Canadian regiment and a wealthy Montreal businessman, was faced with a desperate shortage of troops. When he reached out to his friends at home for support, over two hundred were commissioned from the ranks, and many more would serve as soldiers throughout the war. On their return to Canada after the war, Major George McDonald and Major George Currie formed the accounting firm McDonald Currie, which later became one of the founders of Price Waterhouse Coopers.[37] Captain Percival Molson was killed in action in July 1917. Percival Molson Memorial Stadium at McGill is named in his honour.

The War Memorial Hall (more generally known as Memorial Hall) is a landmark building on the campus of McGill University. At the dedication ceremony the Governor General of Canada (Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis) laid the cornerstone. Dedicated on October 6, 1946, the Memorial Hall and adjoining Memorial Pool honour students who had enlisted and died in the First World War, and in the Second World War. In Memorial Hall, there are two Stained Glass Regimental badge World War I and World War II Memorial Windows by Charles William Kelsey c. 1950/1.[38] A war memorial window (1950) by Charles William Kelsey in the McGill War Memorial Hall depicts the figure of St. Michael and the badges of the Navy, Army and the Air Force. 23 members of the McGill Chapter of Delta Upsilon who gave their lives in the Great War. A Great War memorial window featuring Saint George and a slain dragon at the entrance to the Blackader-Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art is dedicated to the memory of 23 members of the McGill Chapter of Delta Upsilon who gave their lives in the Great War.[39] Six other windows (1951) by Charles William Kelsey on the west wall of the memorial hall depict the coats of arms of the regiments in which the McGill alumni were members. There is a memorial archway at Macdonald College, two additional floors added to the existing Sir Arthur Currie gymnasium, a hockey rink and funding for an annual Memorial Assembly. A Book of Remembrance on a marble table contains the names of those lost in both World Wars. On 11 November 2012 the McGill Remembers web site launched; the University War Records Office collected documents between 1940-1946 related to McGill students, staff and faculty in the Second World War.[40]

Related institutions[edit]

McGill was instrumental in founding several universities. It established the first post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to provide degree programs to the growing cities of Vancouver and Victoria. It chartered Victoria College in 1903, a two-year college offering first and second-year McGill courses in arts and science, which was the predecessor institution to the modern University of Victoria. The province's first university was incorporated in Vancouver in 1908 as the McGill University College of British Columbia. The private institution granted McGill degrees until it became the independent University of British Columbia in 1915.[41] Dawson College was set up by McGill as a satellite campus in 1945 to handle the overflow registration of students after the Second World War and the returning veterans. Many students in their first 3 years in the Faculty of Engineering took courses at Dawson College to relieve the McGill campus for the later 2 years for their degree course. Dawson eventually became independent of McGill and evolved into the first English CEGEP in Quebec. In addition, McGill alumnus and professor, Dr. William Osler, and Dr. Howard Atwood Kelly, also a former professor of medicine at McGill, were very much involved in the creation of the medical school of Johns Hopkins University. Osler became the first Physician-in-Chief of the new Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 1889, and was instrumental in the creation of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1893. He and Kelly were also among the Johns Hopkins' earliest professors of medicine.

George Allan Ross (architect) designed the Pathology Building, 1922–23; the Neurological Institute, 1933; Neurological Institute addition 1938 at McGill University.[42] Jean Julien Perrault (architect) designed the McTavish Street residence for Charles E. Gravel, which is now called David Thompson House (1934).[43]

Campus[edit]

Downtown campus[edit]

A hockey game on campus in 1884, just seven years after McGill students wrote the then-new game's first rule book, with the Arts Building, Redpath Museum, and Morrice Hall (then the Presbyterian College) visible.
McGill's downtown campus at night viewed from Mount Royal. The circular building in the foreground is the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building.

McGill's main campus is situated in downtown Montreal at the foot of Mount Royal.[44] Most of its buildings are situated in a park-like campus located north of Sherbrooke Street and south of Pine Ave between Peel and Aylmer streets. The campus also extends west of Peel Street for several blocks, starting north of Docteur-Penfield, and east of University Street, starting north of Pine Avenue, as well as closely relating with nearby structures owned by or affiliated with the University. The community immediately east of University Street is known as the McGill Ghetto, where a large number of students reside. The campus is near the Peel and McGill metro stations. All of the major university buildings were constructed using local grey limestone, which serves as a unifying element.[45]

The university's first classes were held in at Burnside Place, James McGill's country home.[23][46] Burnside Place remained the sole educational facility until the 1840s, when the school began construction on its first buildings: the central and east wings of the Arts Building.[47] The rest of the campus was essentially a cow pasture, a situation similar to the few other Canadian universities and early American colleges of the age.[48]

The university's athletic facilities, including Molson Stadium, are located on Mount Royal, near the residence halls and the Montreal Neurological Institute. The Gymnasium is named in honour of General Sir Arthur William Currie.

In 2012, Travel + Leisure rated McGill's campus as one of the 17 most beautiful university campuses in the world.[49]

Buildings[edit]

As mentioned previously, McGill University is actually a university village. Some of the buildings are:

  • Maass Chemistry Building
  • Burnside Hall
  • Schulich Library of Science and Engineering
  • Trottier Building
  • Wong Building
  • Leacock Building
  • McIntyre Medical Sciences Building (Faculty of Medicine)
  • Stewart Biology Building
  • Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building
  • Rutherford Physics Building
  • Birks Building
  • McConnell Engineering Building
  • MacDonald Engineering Building
  • Frank Dawson Adams Building
  • Sherbrooke 688
  • Ferrier Building
  • Redpath Museum
  • Morrice Hall
  • Redpath Hall
  • Redpath Library Building
  • McLennan Library
  • Bronfman Building (Desautels Faculty of Management)
  • Peterson Hall
  • Brown Student Services Building
  • Powell Student Services Building
  • Education Building
  • Purvis Hall
  • Duggan House and Duggan House Annex
  • Peel 3715, 3661, 3647, 3511, and 3505
  • Lady Meredith House
  • Charles Meredith House
  • Life Sciences Complex
  • Old Chancellor Day Hall
  • Hosmer House and Hosmer House Annex
  • Davis House and Davis House Annex
  • Strathcona Music Building
  • Tania Schulich Hall
  • New Music Building
  • University Hall Residence
  • Wilson Hall
  • University 3534 and 3550
  • Douglas Hall
  • Molson Hall
  • McConnell Hall
  • McConnell Arena
  • Gardner Hall
  • Bishop Mountain Hall
  • Molson Stadium
  • Currie Gymnasium
  • Tomlinson Hall
  • Duff Medical Building
  • Pine 499, 505, 517, 523, and 546
  • Sherbrooke 550
  • Royal Victoria College Residences
  • Mountain 3605
  • Robinovitch House
  • Penfield 1085F
  • McTavish 3610
  • Thomson House
  • Arts Building
  • Moyse Hall
  • James Administration Building
  • James Annex Building
  • 740 Docteur-Penfield

Residence[edit]

McGill's residence system is relatively small when compared to the number of students enrolled in first year, housing approximately 3,100 undergraduate students and a handful of graduate students.[50] Almost all McGill students do not live in residence (known colloquially as "rez") after their first year of study, even if they are not from the Montreal area. With the exception of students returning as "floor fellows" or "dons", the majority of McGill residences are for first-year undergraduate students only. Senior students are expected to find off-campus housing.

Most second-year students transition to off-campus apartment housing, and apartment hunting is sometimes seen as a rite of passage for McGill students. Many students end up living in the "McGill Ghetto", the neighbourhood directly to the east of the downtown campus. In recent years, finding affordable housing has been challenging because of the city's tight housing market, particularly in neighbourhoods close to the McGill campus.[51] Students have begun moving out to other areas such as Mile End, The Plateau, and even as far as Verdun because of rising rent prices.

  • Dormitory Style

Many first-year students live in the Bishop Mountain Residences ("Upper Rez"),[52] a series of concrete dormitories on the slope of Mount Royal, consisting of McConnell Hall, Molson Hall, Gardner Hall, and Douglas Hall. Douglas Hall, which opened in 1937, is distinguished by its impressive stone facade and wood interiors. Closed for the 2013-2014 academic year, Douglas Hall reopened after renovations for the 2014-2015 academic year to repair long-lasting issues with the building and cafeteria. McConnell, Molson, and Gardner Halls, all built in the 1960s, share a cafeteria, located at the centre of the three dormitories, known as Bishop Mountain Hall.

Royal Victoria College (RVC) was a women's only dormitory; however in September 2010 the dormitory became co-ed. The extension to RVC – a wing originally intended to be the reception rooms and living quarters for the RVC matron – was designed by Percy Erskine Nobbs and George Taylor Hyde. The extension was designed to relate to the facades which lined University Street and complement Bruce Price's original building for the college.[53] One of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll`s works as a sculptor is the statue of her Royal mother Queen Victoria erected in front of the Royal Victoria College, Montreal.[54]

  • Independent Living

The McGill Off-Campus Residence Experience (M.O.R.E.) consist of a series of converted apartment buildings and row houses. After inception in 2006, it has expanded to become McGill's third largest residence housing just under 300 kids in total. Notable buildings included in the collection of "M.O.R.E." houses are "Pres Rez" (Presbyterian Hall) and "Uni Hall" (short for University and also known as Dio). Both residences are small and adjacent to churches, Presbyterian Hall being adjacent to the Presbyterian Church and Uni Hall adjacent to the Montreal Diocesan Theological College, both working theological institutions with connections to McGill. All other buildings included in MORE are: 3741 Peel, 3559-3601-3653 University, 501-505-509-510-522 Pine Ave. The last building included in M.O.R.E., the largest building, is Greenbriar Hall, an apartment-style residence that is very similar to that of Solin Hall housing 89 students.

Solin Hall, located at the other end of a park from Lionel-Groulx (Montreal Metro), is McGill's second largest residence housing roughly 300 students in apartment style housing. The style of living is meant for more independent students who wish to live away from the "McGill Bubble" and seek the opportunity to cook for themselves, seeing as Solin residents do not have a meal plan like all other residence folk.

  • Hotel Style

New Residence Hall ("New Rez"), a converted four-star hotel located a few blocks east of campus at Parc and Prince Arthur is McGill's largest residence. It has its own cafeteria for roughly 700 students and has 16 floors.

In fall 2008, due to increased demand for first-year housing, the University chose to lease four floors of a privately owned apartment building for use as a university residence. The building, called "515 Ste. Catherine", is on the corner of Rue Ste. Catherine and Rue City Councillors, close to campus yet in the heart of downtown Montreal. The building then became known as "VARCITY 515". It was completely renovated and featured a gym, movie theater, and fully furnished apartments. McGill Residence Office decided to forgo use of the building after summer 2009, However in the fall 2013 term, two floors were once again rented out to accommodate 85 students and 2 floor fellows, in part due to the renovation of Douglas Hall, which ordinarily houses 179 students.

Later on in April 2009, McGill acquired the Four Points Sheraton Hotel at 475 Sherbrooke Street West. The hotel was converted into a new student residence, which opened in fall 2009. Students either call it Carrefour, or informally: "C4." Officially, however, the building has been named Carrefour Sherbrooke Residence Hall and features its own Presse Cafe which accepts meal plan dollars.In 2012, after a transitory period where several floors of the Quality Hotel on Parc Avenue were rented out to accommodate an overflow of students, McGill opened its newest converted hotel residence, called La Citadelle. Located on Sherbrooke Street West at the corner of Hutchinson, La Citadelle houses 286 students in double and single rooms.

Master plan[edit]

McGill has begun an ambitious process to lay the groundwork for future development. A Task Force on Campus Planning has been created to study the issue. It has begun to consult widely within the McGill and greater community on a broad range of issues including community life, physical development plans, and other issues. Its recommendations include how McGill can develop in a way that supports the University’s mission and goals, and continues to benefit and bring value to the surrounding areas and the greater Montreal community. Among the guiding principles of the Task Force’s work are commitment to community, responsible stewardship, maintenance of green space and the integrity of the mountain, and the preservation of heritage architectural assets.[55][56]

One recent initiative turned McGill into a car-free campus.[57]

Redevelopment plan, McGill University Health Centre[edit]

In 2006, the Quebec government initiated a $1.6 billion LEED redevelopment project for the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The project will expand facilities to two separate campuses[58] and consolidate the various hospitals of the MUHC on the site of an old CP rail yard adjacent to the Vendôme metro station. This site, known as Glen Yards, comprises 170,000 square metres (1,800,000 sq ft) and spans portions of Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood and the city of Westmount.[59] The Glen Yards project has been controversial due to local opposition to the project, environmental issues, and the cost of the project itself.[60] The project, which has received approval from the provincial government, was, in 2003, expected to be complete by 2010. The new 'campus' is now expected to open in 2014 or 2015.

Macdonald campus[edit]

Main article: Macdonald Campus
Macdonald Campus under construction in 1906
The Macdonald Campus coat of arms

A second campus, the Macdonald Campus, in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue houses the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Science, the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, the Institute of Parasitology, and the McGill School of Environment. The Morgan Arboretum and the J. S. Marshall Radar Observatory are nearby.

The Morgan Arboretum was created in 1945. It is a 2.5-square-kilometre (0.965 sq mi) forested reserve with the aim of 'teaching, research, and public education'. Its mandated research goals are to continue research related to maintaining the health of the Arboretum plantations and woodlands, to develop new programs related to selecting species adapted to developing environmental conditions and to develop silvicultural practices that preserve and enhance biological diversity in both natural stands and plantations.[61]

Sustainability[edit]

In 2007, McGill premiered its Office of Sustainability and added a second full-time position in this area, the Director of Sustainability in addition to the Sustainability Officer.[62] Recent efforts in implementing its sustainable development plan include the new Life Sciences Center which was built with LEED-Silver certification and a green roof, as well as an increase in parking rates in January 2008 to fund other sustainability projects.[62] Other student projects include The Flat: Bike Collective, which promotes alternative transportation, and the Farmer's Market, which occurs during the fall harvest.[63] The Farmer's Market and many other initiatives came out of student collaboration during the Rethink Conference 2008.[64]

Other facilities[edit]

McGill's Bellairs Research Institute, located in St. James, Barbados 13°10′N 59°35′W / 13.167°N 59.583°W / 13.167; -59.583, is Canada's only teaching and research facility in the tropics.[65] The institute has been in use for over 50 years. Its facilities are regularly utilized by the Canadian Space Agency for research.

The laboratories of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre are located in St. Andrews, N.B., on 300,000 square metres (3,200,000 sq ft) of land at the estuary of the St. Croix River.[66] It hosts the Atlantic Reference Centre, which is known throughout the Maritimes for its extensive marine biology collections.[67] The HMS is a research facility "committed to the advancement of the marine sciences through basic and applied research"[68] and acts as a field facility for research and teaching by McGill and other member universities.

McGill's Gault Nature Reserve 45°32′N 73°10′W / 45.533°N 73.167°W / 45.533; -73.167 spans over 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi) of forest land, the largest remaining remnant of the primeval forests of the St. Lawrence River Valley.[69] The first scientific studies at the site occurred in 1859. The site has been the site of extensive research activities: "Today there are over 400 scientific articles, 100 graduate theses, more than 50 government reports and about 30 book chapters that are based on research at Mont St. Hilaire."[70]

In addition to the McGill University Health Centre, McGill has been directly partnered with many teaching hospitals for decades, and also has a history of collaborating with many hospitals in Montreal. These cooperations allow the university to graduate over 1,000 students in health care each year.[71] McGill's contract-affiliated teaching hospitals include: Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal General Hospital, Montreal Neurological Hospital, Montreal Chest Institute and Royal Victoria Hospital which are all now part of the McGill University Health Centre. Other hospitals that health care students may use include: Sir Mortimer B. Davis – Jewish General Hospital, Douglas Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital Center.[72]

Until the late 19th century, McGill had also owned parkland atop the Westmount Summit, which was used as a botanical garden. In the early twentieth century, McGill donated the land to the City of Westmount on the condition that it become a bird sanctuary.[73]

Administration and Organization[edit]

Structure[edit]

Schools at the university include the School of Architecture, the School of Computer Science, the School of Information Studies, the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, the Ingram School of Nursing, the School of Social Work, the School of Urban Planning, and the McGill School of Environment. They also include the Institute of Islamic Studies (established in 1952) which offers graduate courses leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, and covering the history, culture, and civilization of Islam since its inception and up to modern times; the Institute is also served by one of the richest libraries in North America on Islamic studies with sources in many different languages. The Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies[74] (GPS) oversees the admission and registration of graduate students (both master's and Ph.D.). The GPS administers graduate fellowships, postdoctoral affairs, and the graduation process, including the examination of theses. In conjunction with other units, it conducts regular program reviews in all study disciplines.

Founded in 1956, the McGill Executive Institute provides business seminars and custom executive education to companies, government services and non-profit organizations. Led primarily by McGill faculty, the executive courses and management training programs are designed for all managerial levels, from board members to senior-level executives to junior managers.

Faculties and schools of McGill University[6]

University identity and culture[edit]

McGill’s coat of arms

The McGill coat of arms is derived from an armorial device assumed during his lifetime by the founder of the University, James McGill. The University's patent of arms was granted by England's Garter-King-at-Arms in 1922 and registered in 1956 with Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh and in 1992 with the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. In heraldic terms, the coat of arms is described as follows: "Argent three Martlets Gules, on a chief dancette of the second, an open book proper garnished or bearing the legend In Domino Confido in letters Sable between two crowns of the first. Motto: Grandescunt Aucta Labore." The coat of arms consists of two parts, the shield and the scroll. The University publishes a guide to the use of the University's arms and motto.[75]

The university's symbol is the martlet, stemming from the presence of the mythical bird on the official arms of the university. The school's official colours are red and white. McGill's motto is Grandescunt Aucta Labore, Latin for "By work, all things increase and grow" (literally, "Things grown great increase by work," that is, things that grow to be great do so by means of work).

The official school song is entitled "Hail, Alma Mater."[76]

The university's color is scarlet, which figures prominently in the academic dress of McGill University.

Finances[edit]

As a public university, McGill is not as dependent on its endowment for operating revenue as some of its international peers. The McGill endowment only provides approximately 10 per cent of the school's annual operating revenues.[77] Nonetheless, McGill's endowment rests within the top 10 percent of all North American post-secondary institutions' endowments.[78] While McGill's conservative investment policy has protected it from the more substantial losses experienced at many other universities during the market crisis of 2008–2009, it still faced a 20% endowment decline from approximately $920 million to $740 million.[77] Valued at $21,633 per student, the university maintains one of the largest endowments among Canadian universities on a per-student basis.

In an open letter to faculty and students, Heather Munroe-Blum wrote: "The next few years do not promise to be easy. But in facing this challenge, McGill has a unique advantage in addition to that of the fundamental progress we have made. This university has lived with restricted resources and uncertainty for almost two hundred years – it is part of our culture. And yet, against this backdrop of hardship, we have always retained our commitment to excellence. We are one of the world’s great universities. This will not change. In my installation speech in the spring of 2003, I said McGill "punches above its weight." We will continue to do so. In order to stay the course, we must now move with confidence, pride, excitement and discipline to seize every opportunity to put McGill in an ideal position to leap forward with the inevitable recovery."[77]

Campaign McGill: History in the Making is a five-year comprehensive campaign that began in October 2007,[79] with the goal of raising over $750 million for the purpose of further "attracting and retaining top talent in Quebec, to increase access to quality education and to further enhance McGill's ability to address critical global problems."[80] The largest goal of any Canadian university fundraising campaign in history,[80][81] within the first six months, McGill had accumulated over $400 million towards its efforts.[82] Support to McGill’s annual fund has actually increased during the market crisis.[77] According to Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, she is confident that Campaign McGill will reach its $750 million goal by 2012.[77]

On June 18, 2013 Principal Heather Munroe-Blum officially closed the campaign.[83] The university surpassed its initial goal of $750 million and raised more than $1 billion.[84]

Academics[edit]

Admissions[edit]

Twenty-two percent of all students are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, McGill's largest academic unit. Of the other larger faculties, the Faculty of Science enrolls 15%, the Faculty of Medicine enrolls 13%, the Centre for Continuing Education enrolls 12%, the Faculty of Engineering and the Desautels Faculty of Management enrol about 10% each.[7] The remainder of all students are enrolled in McGill's smaller schools, including the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Law, Schulich School of Music, and the Faculty of Religious Studies. Since the 1880s,[85] McGill has been affiliated with three Theological Colleges; the Montreal Diocesan Theological College (Anglican Church of Canada), The Presbyterian College, Montreal (Presbyterian Church in Canada), and United Theological College (United Church of Canada).[86] The university's Faculty of Religious Studies maintains additional affiliations with other theological institutions and organizations, such as the Montreal School of Theology.[87]

McGill students have the highest average entering grade of any Canadian university.[8] For Fall 2013, McGill accepted 14,937 (47.6%) of 31,400 undergraduate applicants, and 3,683 (34.2%) of 10,765 graduate applicants; about 6,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduates matriculate each year. Among admitted students, the median Quebec CEGEP r-score was 29.9, while the median grade 12 averages for students entering McGill from outside of Quebec ranged between 92% and 93% (A). For American students, the median SAT scores in the verbal, math, and writing sections were 710, 690, and 700 respectively, for a combined SAT score of around 2100; the median ACT score was 31.[88]

For law students, the median undergraduate GPA was 85% (or 3.7 on a 4.0 scale) and the median LSAT score was 163 (88.1th percentile) out of a possible 180 points.[89] For medical students, the median undergraduate GPA was 3.8 out of 4.0 and the median MCAT score was 32.1.[90] Among the 30% of applicants admitted to the Desautels Faculty of Management's MBA program, applicants had, on average, a GMAT score of 665, an age of 27, and 49 months of work experience.[91]

Teaching and Learning[edit]

In the 2007–2008 school year, McGill offered over 340 academic programs in eleven faculties.[4][92] The university also offers over 250 doctoral and master's graduate degree programs. Despite strong increases in university enrollment across North America,[93] McGill has upheld a relatively low[94] and appealing student-faculty ratio of 16:1.[95] There are nearly 1,600 tenured or tenure-track professors teaching at the university.[3]

Tuition fees vary significantly between in-province, out-of-province, and international students, with full-time Quebec students paying around $3,167.80[9] per year, Canadian students from other provinces paying around $7,858.10[9] per year, and international students paying $19,461.80–$34,840 per year.[96][97] Students must also pay housing costs, though Montreal has some of the least expensive housing among large North American cities.

Since 1996, McGill, in accordance with the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), has had eight categories that qualifies certain international students to be excused from paying international fees. These categories include: students from France, a quota of students from select countries which have agreements with MELS, which include Algeria, China, and Morocco,[98] students holding diplomatic status, including their dependents, and students enrolled in certain language programs leading to a degree in French.[99] In the school year 2008-2009, McGill's graduate business program became funded by tuition, and was the last business school in Canada to do so.[100]

Scholarships at McGill are relatively difficult to attain, compared to other Canadian universities.[10][11][12][13] For out-of-province first year undergraduate students, a high school average of 95% is required to receive a guaranteed one-year entrance scholarship.[101] To be considered for the same scholarships, Quebec CEGEP students need a minimum r-score of 35.5, United States high school students need a minimum A average as well as at least 700 in each SAT or 33 in the ACT, and French Baccalaureate students need an average of 15.5 plus a minimum score of 14 in each course; similarly, students in the British education system need As in both GCSE Level and predicted Advanced Level results, and International Baccalaureate students need to attain a minimum overall average of 6.9 on predicted grades or a score of 42 on exam results. In general, entrance scholarship recipients rank in the top 1–2% of their class.

For renewal of previously earned scholarships, students generally need to be within the top 10% of their faculty.[102] For in-course scholarships in particular, students must be within the top 5% of their faculty.[103][104] McGill itself outlines scholarship considerations as follows: "Competition for basic and major scholarships is intense at McGill. An extraordinary number of exceptional applications are received each year and therefore we cannot award scholarships to all good candidates."[101]

The university has joined Project Hero, a scholarship program cofounded by General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier for the families of fallen Canadian Forces members.[105] McGill is also partnered with the STEM initiative Schulich Leader Scholarships, awarding an $80,000 scholarship to an incoming engineering student and a $60,000 scholarship to a student pursuing a degree in science/technology/mathematics each year.[106]

Language policy[edit]

Although the language of instruction is English, students have the right to submit any graded work in English or in French, except when learning a particular language is an objective of the course. Over 38,000 [107] students attend McGill, with international students comprising one-fifth of the student population.

Though McGill allowed students to write graduation theses in French as early as 1835, McGill never became a Francophone University. However, its Charter is bilingual, so is its language policy. McGill is one of only three English-language universities in Quebec; fluency in French is not a requirement to attend. The Faculty of Law does, however, require all students to be "passively bilingual", meaning that all students must be able to understand written and spoken French—or English if the student is Francophone—since English or French may be used at any time in a course. Though the University allowed some students to write theses in French from the time the University was founded, since 1964 students in all faculties have been able to write exams and papers in either English or French, provided that the objective of the class is not to learn a particular language.[108]

The 1960s were a period of profound social and political change in Quebec, when English was seen as the privileged language of commerce. McGill, where Francophones comprised only three percent of the students, could be seen as the force maintaining economic control by Anglophones of a predominantly French-speaking province.[109][110]

The McGill français movement began in 1969, demanding that McGill become Francophone, pro-nationalist, and pro-worker.[111] The movement was led by Stanley Gray, a political science professor (and possibly unaware of government plans after the recent (1968) legislation founding the Université du Québec). It argued that, since McGill received the lion's share of government funding, paid by a taxpayer base that was largely Francophone, the university should be equally accessible to that segment of the population.[112][113] Gray led a demonstration of 10,000 trade unionists, leftist activists, CEGEP students, and even some McGill students, at the university's Roddick Gates on March 28, 1969. Protesters shouted "McGill français", "McGill aux Québécois", and "McGill aux travailleurs" (McGill for workers). However, the majority of students and faculty opposed such a position, and many of the protesters were arrested.[114][115] The McGill français protest was, at the time, the second-largest protest in the history of Montreal.[116] Francophone students, whether from Quebec or overseas, now make up approximately 18 percent of the student body, a goal set by the administration partially in the wake of the movement.[117] The totally Francophone Université du Québec à Montréal had by 2011 an enrollment of 40,000.

Rankings and reputation[edit]

University rankings
McGill University
ARWU World[118] 67
QS World[119] 21
THE-WUR World[120] 35
Canadian rankings
ARWU National[121] 3
Maclean's Medical/Doctoral[122] 1
THE-WUR National[120] 3

As of the 2013-2014 school year, McGill was ranked 1st in Canada among all its major/research universities in the Maclean's 23rd annual rankings, maintaining this position for the ninth consecutive year.[123] The university topped the 1991 Maclean's ranking of 46 universities and for 1993 rated best overall in the Medical/Doctoral category for the second year in a row.[124]

Since Maclean's began ranking Canadian law schools in 2007, it has placed McGill's law school second overall for the second year in a row.[125][126] In particular, McGill's law school, which requires reading knowledge of French and offers the joint B.C.L./LL.B. degree in both civil law and common law, ranked first by supreme court clerkships, second by elite firm hiring, third by faculty hiring, fourth by faculty journal citations, and eighth by national reach.[127]

The Gourman Ranking of Canadian Universities also ranked McGill first in Canada in its 1998 report on undergraduate programs.[128]

The Globe and Mails Canadian University Report awarded McGill top marks in its 2008 annual university survey. McGill received an A+ for Academic Reputation, the highest score of any large, medium, or small sized University. Additionally the school received an A- for: most satisfied students, quality of education, extracurricular activities, recreation and athletics, and campus atmosphere; as well as A's in both library services and campus technology. The Canadian University Report awarded McGill's downtown campus a D for its 'on-campus' food services and a C for its on-campus pub Gerts.[129]

Internationally, McGill ranked 21st in the world in the 2014 QS World University Rankings.[130] McGill was ranked 35th in the world by the 2013-2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[131] In the 2011 Emerging/Trendence Global Employability Ranking, McGill was ranked the 19th finest in the world, and 1st in Canada, for popularity among major employers.[132] In the 2008 College Prowler Online rankings for Academics at North American universities, McGill earned an A- for Academics; making it the only Canadian school to achieve a grade above a B-.[133]

In 2009, Forbes ranked McGill's business school, the Desautels Faculty of Management, 11th in the world among non-U.S. universities for its two-year MBA program.[134] The Eduniversal Ranking placed the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University first in Canada and 8th in the world among business schools.[135] The Financial Times, in its global MBA ranking, placed Desautels 44th in the world in 2006 and 57th in 2011.[136] The ranking placed it 33rd and 31st worldwide in the value for money and alumni recommended categories respectively. In BusinessWeek's Best International B-Schools Of 2008, Desautels was ranked among the top 16 international business schools, ranking fourth in intellectual capital with a selectivity of 32%.[137]

Bloomberg BusinessWeek's 2012 Business Schools Ranking ranked McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management 10th in the world among non-US business schools, referring to McGill University as "the #1 university in Canada and among the top 20 worldwide."[138]

Research Infosource named McGill "Research University of the Year" in its 2003 and 2005 rankings of Canada's Top 50 Research Universities.[139][140] In 2007, Research Infosource ranked McGill the second-best research university in the country, after the University of Toronto.[140] They also ranked McGill University third in Canada in research-intensity and fourth in total-research funding,[141] finding that McGill ranks in the top five universities in terms of research dollars per full-time faculty member and number of refereed publications per full-time faculty member. The study showed that research funding represents approximately $259,100 per faculty member, the fourth highest in the country.[141]

McGill was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" in October 2008 and October 2009 by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.[142]

The Sustainable Endowments Institute gave McGill a grade of "B" on the 2009 College Sustainability Report Card for its improvements in on-campus environmental sustainability,[143] with only 34 schools earning higher grade.[144]

Playboy magazine, in its May 2006 issue, ranked McGill as the tenth best party school in North America. McGill was the only Canadian university in the list.[145]

Research[edit]

the laboratory of Rutherford, early 20th century

Research plays a critical role at McGill. According to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, "Researchers at McGill are affiliated with about 75 major research centres and networks, and are engaged in an extensive array of research partnerships with other universities, government and industry in Quebec and Canada, throughout North America and in dozens of other countries."[146] Annually, around 100 inventions take place at McGill.[147] In recognition of its research quality, McGill is affiliated with 12 Nobel Laureates and professors have won major teaching prizes. McGill's researchers are supported by the McGill University Library, which comprises 13 branch libraries and holds over six million items.[148]

Since 1926, McGill has been a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of leading research universities in North America. McGill is also a founding member of Universitas 21, an international network of leading research-intensive universities that work together to expand their global reach and advance their plans for internationalization.

McGill is a member of the U15, a group of prominent research universities within Canada. McGill-Queen's University Press began as McGill in 1963 and amalgamated with Queen's in 1969. McGill-Queen's University Press focuses on Canadian studies and publishes the Canadian Public Administration Series.[149]

Radon, discovered at McGill by physicist Ernest Rutherford

McGill is perhaps best recognized for its research and discoveries in the health sciences. William Osler, Wilder Penfield, Donald Hebb, Brenda Milner, and others made significant discoveries in medicine, neuroscience and psychology while working at McGill. The Montreal Neurological Institute is also located in McGill university, where many of these individuals worked. The first hormone governing the Immune System (later christened the Cytokine 'Interleukin-2') was discovered at McGill in 1965 by Gordon & McLean.[150] The invention of the world's first artificial cell was made by Thomas Chang, an undergraduate student at the university.[151] While chair of physics at McGill, nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford performed the experiment that led to the discovery of the alpha particle and its function in radioactive decay, which won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908. Alumnus Jack Szostak, now a professor of genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer.

William Chalmers invented Plexiglas while a graduate student at McGill.[152] In computing, MUSIC/SP, software for mainframes once popular among universities and colleges around the world, was developed at McGill. A team also contributed to the development of Archie, a pre-WWW search engine. A 3270 terminal emulator developed at McGill was commercialized and later sold to Hummingbird Software. A team has developed digital musical instruments in the form of prosthesis, called Musical Prostheses.[153]

Libraries, Archives and Museums[edit]

The McGill University Libraries, Department of Rare Books & Special Collections consist of 350,000 items, mainly books, manuscripts, maps, prints, and a general rare book collection.[154]

The http://www.archives.mcgill.ca/index.htm McGill University Archives house official records of, or relating to, or people/activities connected with McGill University. The collection consists of manuscripts, texts, photographs, audio-visual material, architectural records, cartographic materials, prints and drawings, microforms and artifacts.[155] In 1962 F. Cyril James declared that the newly founded McGill University Archives (MUA), while concentrating on the institutional records of McGill, had the mandate to acquire private papers of former faculty members. In the 1990s drew back their acquisition scope and in 2004 new terms of reference on private acquisitions were introduced that included a wider McGill Community.[156]

The McGill Medical Museum catalogues, preserves, conserves and displays collections that documents the study and practice of medicine at McGill University and its associated teaching hospitals. The Medical museum features collections, individual specimens, artifacts, equipment log books/autopsy journals/paper materials and medical instruments and apparati, 25 wax models, 200 mostly skeletal dry specimens; and 400 lantern slides of anatomic specimens. There is a special emphasis on pathology; there are 2000 fluid filled-preserved anatomical and pathological specimens. The Osler collection, for example consists of 60 wet specimens while The Abbott collection consists of 80 wet specimens, mostly examples of congenital cardiac disease.[157]

Student life[edit]

Student body[edit]

Ph.D. candidates march at Commencement in McGill's scarlet regalia.[158]

McGill's student population includes 22,778 undergraduate and 7,247 graduate students representing diverse geographic and linguistic backgrounds.[159] Of the entire student population, 54.7% are from Quebec and 25.4% are from the rest of Canada, while 20.0% are from outside of Canada (including the United States). International students hail from about 150 different countries,[160] with Americans comprising about half of all international undergraduates and a third of all international postgraduates in the entering class of 2010.[88] Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English. While the university is located in a Francophone province, only 17.8% of the students claim French as their mother tongue, compared to 51.8% who claim English and 30.5% who claim some other language.[161]

Student organizations[edit]

The campus has an active students' union represented by the undergraduate Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU) and the Post-Graduate Students' Society of McGill University (PGSS). SSMU was one of the first student societies in Canada to use an online voting system for campus elections. Due to the large postdoctoral population, the PGSS also contains a semi-autonomous Association of Postdoctoral Fellows (APF). In addition, each faculty has its own student governing body. There are hundreds of clubs and student organizations at the university. Many of them are centred around McGill's student union building, the University Centre. In 1992, students held a referendum which called for the University Centre to be named for actor and McGill alumnus William Shatner.[162] The university administration refused to accept the name and did not attend the opening. Traditionally, the administration names buildings in honour of deceased members of the university community or for major benefactors—Shatner is neither.[163]

McGill has five English-language student-run publications: the McGill Daily, the McGill Tribune, The Bull & Bear, the Plumber's Ledger and the Plumber's Faucet. The McGill Daily was first published in 1911. The Daily was previously published twice weekly,[164] but shifted to a once-a-week publication schedule in September 2013 due to tightened budgets.[165] The Délit français is the Daily's French-language counterpart. The combined circulation of both papers is over 28,000.[164] The McGill Tribune currently publishes once a week, circulating approximately 11,000 copies across campus. The Bull & Bear, operating under the Management Undergraduate Society, publishes 1,000 copies each month.[166] Operating under the Engineering Undergraduate Society, the Plumber's Faucet is the engineering satirical publication. Established in 2012, the Plumber's Ledger acts as a more serious counterpart to the Faucet. The McGill Foreign Affairs Review is a student-run journal about international affairs. Since 1988, The Red Herring has been the main satire magazine of McGill University. CKUT (90.3 FM) is the campus radio station. TVMcGill is the University TV station, broadcasting on closed-circuit television and over the internet.[167] The McGill University Faculty of Law is also home to three student-run academic journals, including the world renowned McGill Law Journal, founded in 1952.[168]

While fraternities and sororities are not a large part of student life at McGill, some, including fraternities Delta Kappa Epsilon, Zeta Psi, Mu Omicron Zeta, Phi Kappa Pi, Alpha Delta Phi, Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Chi and sororities Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Alpha Omicron Pi have been established for many years at the university. After being founded in 1900, Delta Kappa Epsilon was disbanded from McGill 1976 and recently revived in 2013, making it McGill's newest Fraternity. In October 2013 Alpha Epsilon Pi refounded its Epsilon Chi colony at McGill University which was originally established in 1990. Zeta Psi has also been inactive in its history, and was reactivated in 1979. Phi Kappa Pi, Canada's only national fraternity, was founded at McGill and the University of Toronto in 1913 and continues to be active to this day. Events including Greek week, held annually during the first week of February, have been established to promote Greek life on campus. With just over 2% of the student body population participating, involvement is below that of most American universities,[169] but on par with most Canadian schools. Many executives of student societies and clubs are involved in Greek life.

McGill has had a student club supporting lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender students since 1972. The group, originally named "Gay McGill", was renamed "Queer McGill" in 1998 to better identify with the diversity of its members.[170] Queer McGill supports both students and non-student members of the McGill community.[171] Membership in 2002 was over 400.[170]

The three oldest a cappella groups on campus are Tonal Ecstasy, Effusion and Soulstice. These groups perform multiple times during the year at on- and off-campus events.

Student organizations at McGill are internationally recognized in a variety of ways. Many larger organizations and NGOs have a local presence on campus. The International Relations Students Association of McGill (IRSAM) currently has consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).[172] Since 1990, IRSAM has hosted an annual Model United Nations, McMUN, for university students and since 1993 it has hosted an annual Model United Nations, SSUNS, for high school students.

Numerous other humanitarian groups can be found: UNICEF McGill, Oxfam McGill, End Poverty Now, Right to Play McGill, and Free the Children are just a few. Numerous student interest groups enhance university life while representing a variety of interests and perspectives.

Athletics[edit]

McGill is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) by the McGill Redmen (men's) and the McGill Martlets (women's). Following a major restructuring of the varsity programme for the fall semester of 2010, McGill is currently home to 28 varsity teams.[173] McGill's unique mascot, Marty the Martlet, was introduced during the 2005 Homecoming game,[174]

The downtown McGill campus sport and exercise facilities include: the McGill Sports Centre (which includes the Tomlinson Fieldhouse and the Windsor Varsity Clinic),[175] Molson Stadium, Memorial Pool, Tomlinson Hall, McConnell Arena, Forbes Field, many outdoor tennis courts and other extra-curricular arenas and faculties.[176] The Macdonald Campus facilities, include an arena, a gymnasium, a pool, tennis courts, fitness centres and hundreds of acres of green space for regular use.[177] The university's largest sporting venue, Molson Stadium, was constructed in 1914. Following an expansion project completed in 2010, it now seats just over 25,000,[178] and is the current home field of the Montreal Alouettes.[179]

Athletic history[edit]

The inventions of North American football, hockey, and basketball are all related to McGill in some way, with rugby rules providing the foundation for the others. Even the introduction of cross-country skiing has a McGill connection.

In 1868, the first recorded game of rugby in North America occurred in Montreal, between British army officers and McGill students,[180][181] giving McGill the oldest university-affiliated rugby club in North America. Other McGill-originated sports evolved out of rugby rules: football, hockey, and basketball. The first game of North American football was played between McGill and Harvard on May 14, 1874,[182] leading to the spread of American football throughout the Ivy League.[183] One of the world's first organized hockey clubs, made up of McGill students, played their first game on January 31, 1877.[184] Very soon thereafter, those McGill students wrote the first hockey rule book.[16] McGill alumnus James Naismith invented basketball in early December 1891.[185] Norwegian Herman "Jackrabbit" Smith-Johannsen popularized cross-country skiing in North America from McGill's Gault Estate in Mont St. Hilaire. Johannsen also helped coach Canada's 1932 Olympic team.

There has been a McGill alumnus or alumna competing at every Olympic Games since 1908.[186][187][188] Swimmer George Hodgson won two gold medals at the 1912 Summer Olympics, ice hockey goaltender Kim St-Pierre won gold medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics and at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Other 2006 gold medalists are Jennifer Heil (women's freestyle mogul) and goaltender Charline Labonté (women's ice hockey).

In 1996, the McGill Sports Hall of Fame was established to honour its best student athletes. Notable members of the Hall of Fame include James Naismith and Sydney Pierce.

A 2005 hazing scandal forced the cancellation of the final two games in the McGill Redmen football season. In 2006, McGill's Senate approved a proposed anti-hazing policy to define forbidden initiation practices.[189]

Fight song[edit]

The McGill University song book, compiled by a committee of graduates and undergraduates, was published in Montreal by W.F. Brown, circa 1896.[190] Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are:

  • 'Alma Mater McGill,' with words by J. McDougall;
  • 'L'Enfant du McGill,' with words by Louis-Honoré Fréchette, and music by Guillaume Couture;
  • 'God Save McGill,' with words by W.M. Mackeracher, tune 'God Save the Queen';
  • 'A Health to Old McGill,' with words by R.W. Huntingdon, and music by Mrs W.C. Baynes;
  • 'McGill,' with words by C.W. Colby, sung to the tune 'The Gay Cavalier';
  • 'McGill Revisited,' with words by John Cox,
  • 'McGill Students' with words by W.N. Evans;
  • 'The Student of McGill,' with words by R.D. McGibbon[191]

Rivalries[edit]

McGill maintains an academic and athletic rivalry with Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Competition between rowing athletes at the two schools has inspired an annual boat race between the two universities in the spring of each year since 1997, inspired by the famous Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.[192] The football rivalry, which started in 1884, ended after Canadian university athletic divisions were re-organized in 2000; the Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference was divided into Ontario University Athletics and Quebec Student Sports Federation.[193] The rivalry returned in 2002 when it transferred to the annual home-and-home hockey games between the two institutions. Queen's students refer to these matches as "Kill McGill" games, and usually show up in Montreal in atypically large numbers to cheer on the Queen's Golden Gaels hockey team.[194] In 2007, McGill students arrived in bus-loads to cheer on the McGill Redmen, occupying a third of Queen's Jock Harty Arena.[195]

The school also competes in the annual "Old Four (IV)" soccer tournament, with Queen's University, the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario.[196]

McGill and Harvard are also athletic rivals, as demonstrated by the biennial Harvard-McGill rugby games, alternately played in Montreal and Cambridge.[197]

Historical links[edit]

  • The University of Glasgow, one of four ancient Scottish universities and member of the British Russell Group. Founded in 1451, the original benefactor of McGill College, James McGill, studied here in the 1750s[198] before his family worked as merchants in the city.[199] The two universities continue this link today as part of Universitas 21, an international student exchange programme.
  • The University of Edinburgh, one of four ancient Scottish universities and member of the British Russell Group. The University was founded as a civic institution in 1583 and has maintained a strong reputation in the study of medicine, among other disciplines. McGill's first (and, for several years, its only) faculty, Medicine, was founded by four physicians/surgeons who had trained in Edinburgh.[200] In common with Glasgow, Edinburgh shares an international exchange link with McGill through Universitas 21.

Notable people[edit]

As chair of physics at McGill, Ernest Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 for his work in atomic physics.

In the arts, McGill students include three Pulitzer Prize winners,[201][202][203] Templeton Prize winner Charles Taylor,[204] essayist and novelist John Ralston Saul, a Companion of the Order of Canada along with Charles Taylor, Juno Award winner Sam Roberts, Singer-Songwriter Prita Chhabra and William Shatner, best known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk on Star Trek and winner of several Emmy Awards. Nine Academy Award winners studied at McGill.[205] Poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen majored in English at McGill and graduated in 1955.[206] Billboard charting musician and vocalist Mary Fahl also attended McGill University.[207] Win Butler and Régine Chassagne of the Grammy Award winning group Arcade Fire also met while studying at McGill.[208] In the sciences, students include doctors, inventors, three astronauts and scientist Dr. Mark J. Poznansky, a member of the Order of Canada.[209] On October 16, 2009, the 42nd American president, Bill Clinton accepted an Honorary Doctorate from McGill University.[210]

Charles Taylor studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from McGill.

Some politicians and government officials both within Canada and abroad are McGill alumni, including two Canadian prime ministers and eleven justices of the Supreme Court of Canada. Progressive Conservative MP Robert Layton and his son, New Democratic Party leader and Leader of the Opposition Jack Layton, also attended McGill.[211] Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga completed her Ph.D. at McGill and was elected as president of the Republic of Latvia in 1999 as the first female president in Eastern Europe after Turkey's Tansu Çiller. Ahmed Nazif also completed a Ph.D. at McGill in 1983 and has served as the youngest prime minister of Egypt since the republic's founding 1953. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Former United States National Security Advisor under President Jimmy Carter completed his undergraduate studies at McGill. In the 2011 Canadian election, five McGill students—undergraduates Charmaine Borg, Matthew Dubé, Mylène Freeman (graduating shortly after the election) and Laurin Liu plus graduate student Jamie Nicholls—were elected as NDP MPs.[212] In the United States, 2006 McGill graduate Ilya Sheyman is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.[213]

Corporate leaders and media personalities have also studied at McGill. Leading Canadian philanthropist and entrepreneur Seymour Schulich donated $20 million, the highest donation to any music school in Canada, to the newly named Schulich School of Music. Henry Mintzberg, a professor at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management is an acclaimed management thinker and contributes to The New York Times and The Economist. Mintzberg is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Co-founder and president of Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd., which innovates globally in graphics, video editing, and image processing, Lorne Trottier has donated $10 million towards services in information and technology at McGill. The new engineering building is called Trottier, named after Lorne Trottier. Conrad Black, a major media magnate and convicted fraudster, also studied at McGill.

McGill students are also recognized as athletes, including various members of Canadian national teams and twenty-eight Olympic medalists. Since the Olympics began, McGill has produced 112 Olympians who have won a total of eight gold medals, nine silver, and eleven bronze.[214][215] Zohaib Asad Syed an undergraduate student at McGill University attained 28 A's in International O/GCSE Level and is known for being the first student in the world to have enrolled at university with the highest number of A's (28 A's) in International O/GCSE Level. Zohaib Asad was rewarded by a cash prize of 1 million PKR by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and applauded by the Principle and Vice Chancellor of McGill University Heather Munroe Blum.[216]

Jacob Viner, who would later go on to form the beginnings of the modern day Chicago School of Economics, earned his undergraduate degree from McGill. William Osler, one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the originator of the concept of medical residency, received his medical degree from McGill.

Professors at McGill have won 26 Prix du Québec, 14 Prix de l'Association francophone pour le savoir and 21 Killam Prizes. Twelve Nobel Laureates have studied or taught at McGill.

Since 1902, Canadian undergraduate students have been eligible for Rhodes Scholarships to study at the University of Oxford. More than any other university, McGill students have won 132 Rhodes Scholarships.[217] These students include parliamentary and cabinet ministers David Lewis (1932), Alastair Gillespie (1947), and Marcel Massé (1963), the political philosopher Charles Taylor (1952), and the U.S. political advisor and inventor Jack Phillips (1978).

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Axelrod, Paul. "McGill University on the Landscape of Canadian Higher Education: Historical Reflections." Higher Education Perspectives 1 (1996–97).
  • Coleman, Brian. "McGill, British Columbia." McGill Journal of Education 6, no. 2 (Autumn 1976).
  • Collard, Andrew. The McGill You Knew: An Anthology of Memories, 1920–1960. Toronto: Longman Canada, 1975.
  • Frost, Stanley B. The History of McGill in Relation to the Social, Economic and Cultural Aspects of Montreal and Quebec (Montreal: McGill University. 1979).
  • Frost, Stanley B. McGill University: For the Advancement of Learning. Vol I. (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press © 1980) ISBN 978-0-7735-0353-3
  • Frost, Stanley B. McGill University: For the Advancement of Learning. Vol II.(Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press 1984) ISBN 978-0-7735-0422-6
  • Gillett, Margaret. We Walked Very Warily: A History of Women at McGill. Montreal: Eden Press, 1981.
  • Hanaway, Joseph; Richard L. Cruess; James Darragh (1996). McGill Medicine: 1885-1936. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-1324-8. 
  • Markell, H. Keith The Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University, 1948–1978 (Montreal: Faculty of Religious Studies, 1979)
  • McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal
  • McNally, Peter F. McGill University: For the Advancement of Learning (1970–2002)' Vol III (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press Not yet published.)
  • Young, Brian J. The Making and Unmaking of a University Museum: The McCord, 1921–1996 McGill-Queen's University Press 2000. ISBN 978-0-7735-2049-3

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′15″N 73°34′29″W / 45.50417°N 73.57472°W / 45.50417; -73.57472