Hello, fellow D.C.-area alumni!
As Branch President, my goal is to keep you abreast of what’s been happening at McGill and in our local alumni branch. And, as usual, there is plenty of news to report.
Last fall, thousands of alumni and parents descended on the University for Homecoming and Parents Weekend. Over the course of four days, they enjoyed a series of lectures, lunches and dinners, including the legendary Leacock Luncheon, hosted by the inimitable Derek Drummond.
The grads and parents also took part in tours of McGill, and witnessed the progress the University has made in its sustainability initiative, which has already seen almost all car traffic barred from the downtown campus. McTavish Street, home to the McGill Bookstore and the Student Centre, now serves as a pedestrian mall. You can read more about McGill’s greening efforts at www.mcgill.ca/sustainability.
And there are many other ways to keep up with McGill online. The McGill News recently began publishing electronic issues, which you can browse at http://publications.mcgill.ca/mcgillnews. I also encourage you to visit McGill’s alumni blog, www.alumnilive365.mcgill.ca, where you’ll find regularly updated columns on all aspects of life as a McGill graduate.
Every month, we advertise upcoming D.C.-area alumni events you won’t want to miss through email broadcasts. To be sure you receive them, please visit www.alumni.mcgill.ca/aoc/profile-update to update your preferences and contact information. And we can deliver the latest on McGill directly to your email inbox with Snapshot, our monthly newsletter, which covers a range of exciting stories from the University.
Locally, we have worked hard to diversify our events and their locations. We had a great group gather in October to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. We devoured French onion soup at our December holiday happy hour, and we put our hockey knowledge to good use in February at our pub night. We even hosted our first Baltimore-area happy hour this March, and we’re now planning our next gathering in Arlington, Va on April 1.
We have several great activities lined up for the coming months, including an amazing lecture by a very popular McGill professor in May and more. As always, we will keep you updated through emails, Facebook and our website – http://aoc.mcgill.ca/washingtondc. I look forward to seeing you at these and other branch events throughout the year! Feel free to contact me if you have an idea for an alumni gathering or if you would like to become more involved.
Emilie Laville, BCom’06
President, McGill Alumni Association of Washington, D.C.
washingtondc [dot] alumni [at] mcgill [dot] ca
McGill News Items
Principal Honoured with Scopus Award
In her time as McGill’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Heather Munroe-Blum has amassed an impressive array of honours and awards. And late last year, the McGill community watched with pride as she accepted yet another.
In November, Munroe-Blum received the prestigious Scopus Award from the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University. The honour, the highest awarded by a Friends organization, recognizes individuals or associations who have excelled in their respective fields, whose humanitarian endeavours and outstanding commitment have contributed to the betterment of society and who have shown strong support for Hebrew University.
“Heather Munroe-Blum was the perfect choice for the Scopus Award, and we bestowed it upon her with gratitude and pleasure,” said Monette Malewski, President of the Montreal Chapter of the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University. “Her work in strengthening ties between Canada and Israel, and between McGill and Hebrew University – our nations’ leading scholarly institutions – has been exemplary.”
As a recipient of the award, Munroe-Blum finds herself in good company. Other Scopus honorees include writer Elie Wiesel and filmmaker Steven Spielberg
McGill Hockey Gets Million-Dollar Boost
The McGill Redmen hockey team recently celebrated a big birthday with an even bigger gift.
On January 31, the team, recognized as the first organized hockey club in the world, turned 134 years old. Marking the occasion, Stephen T. Molson, BA’63, a team member from 1958-1963, and his wife, Nancy, pledged $1 million, a donation that will bolster coaching, player recruitment and program development.
“It’s a wonderful day for the future of the men's hockey program,” said Drew Love, Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation at McGill. “The success of a varsity program begins with the coaching staff.”
To that end, the gift will provide Redmen head coach Kelly Nobes with the support of another full-time staff member through an endowed coaching position, which will be known as the Stephen and Nancy Molson Redmen Hockey Coach.
Ultimately, the gift will help draw top talent to McGill and enhance their experience on and off the ice, said Nobes, a former Redmen all-star currently in his first season as McGill’s bench boss. “It is a tremendous boost for our program.”
Let the Bells Ring
The four clocks embedded in the University’s Roddick Gates surrendered to Montreal’s unforgiving climate long ago. But last fall, thanks to one dedicated grad, their bells rang again.
“I have wanted the Roddick clocks and bells to work for 57 years,” said Dr. Joseph Hanaway, BA’56, MDCM’60. With that goal in mind, Hanaway spent the past four years researching the history of the clock tower. Eventually, he found a clockmaker in Boston who was able to repair the venerable machinery – which, though weatherproof and satellite-controlled, remains outfitted with four bells, each of which plays a different key.
The McGill community heard those chimes for the first time in decades at a ceremony on October 1, during Homecoming weekend, when the clocks were restarted. “It’s an iconic location for the whole university,” Professor Jim Nicell, Associate Vice-Principal (University Services), said of the Roddick Gates. Refurbishing the clocks is part of an effort “to restore elements of the downtown campus to their former glory,” he added.