McGill University receives $200M donation for graduate scholarships

The donors are John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the founders of the McCall MacBain Foundation.

Money from John and Marcy McCall MacBain will go toward scholarship program

John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the founders of the McCall MacBain Foundation, made the $200-million donation to McGill University. (McGill University)

McGill University has received what it's calling the single-largest gift to a Canadian university — $200 million towards a scholarship program for graduate students.

The people behind the gift are John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the founders of the McCall MacBain Foundation. 

"As graduates of Canada's publicly-funded university system, Marcy and I know first hand how universities like McGill can reduce social barriers and foster talent at the highest of levels," said John McCall MacBain. 

The McCall MacBain Scholarships are meant to provide financial support for Canadian and international students hoping to continue their studies with a Master's or professional degree.​

The donation will allow 75 students every year — 50 Canadian and 25 international — to go to graduate school with all bills paid.

McGill University announced the donation on Wednesday. (Charles Contant/CBC)

John McCall MacBain credits his studies at McGill, and the scholarships which allowed him to go, for his success in life.

He is the founder of Trader Classified Media — one of the largest classified ad companies in the world.

"Had it not been for my personal history at McGill, I would not be standing here today," McCall MacBain said.

Marcy McCall MacBain also credits scholarships with making it possible for her to become a fellow at Oxford University.

The first students to receive the scholarships will start at McGill in 2021.

The announcement was made Wednesday in the university's Redpath Hall to staff, supporters and potential future scholarship winners.

"How do you build a great university? At McGill, we say, one student at a time," said McGill principal Suzanne Fortier.

About the Author

Sarah Leavitt


Sarah Leavitt is a journalist with CBC Montreal.


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