McMaster's Online Resource for Donors

McMaster Alumni Association – More than a century of philanthropy


McMaster’s first graduates were the 16 members of the Class of 1894.  Just a few months later, they founded The Alumni Society – now the McMaster Alumni Association – and the Association has been a strong philanthropic supporter of the University ever since.  The first alumni fundraising campaign took place before the start of the 20th century when McMaster’s graduates were asked to help pay for repairs to the library after a fire.  Through the years, the Association and alumni in general have participated in fundraising and philanthropy in many forms, including raising money to build Alumni Memorial Hall.

More recently, the McMaster Alumni Association has become more ambitious in its philanthropic support of the University because of the revenue earned through the Association’s strong alumni affinity programs – home and auto insurance, credit card, travel program and others.  After creating scholarships and bursaries and establishing a tradition of donating the cost of new ceremonial robes for each new University president, the McMaster Alumni Association has also made keystone gifts of $750,000 to the ARCS Campaign (Ron Joyce Stadium and the David Braley Athletic Centre) and $600,000 to the McMaster University Student Centre.

McMaster Alumni Association website
MAA Annual Reports including reporting on philanthropy

Thanks from Alon Coret

A few weeks ago, I was notified that I was one of the recipients of the Class of 1953 50th Anniversary Scholarship.  I would like to sincerely thank you, as well as the Class of 1953, for this award.  It will be of great benefit in helping me pursue my studies and working towards my future goal of becoming a family physician.

Over the past few years, I have dedicated time and energy to various organizations around the community, both at home in Burlington as well as around Hamilton.  In February of this year, I was also fortunate to participate in one of McMaster’s service learning trips – it truly made for a more meaningful Reading Week experience.  In other words, thank you for recognizing the community involvement of McMaster students.  I hope more of us will step out of the “Mac bubble” and engage with the city around us.

Best wishes and again, thank you very much!

David Braley invests $50 million in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine


In June 2007, Hamilton businessman and philanthropist David Braley made a new gift to McMaster – a $50 million donation to the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business.  The gift had three main components.  The first was $15 million to build Canada’s first human stem cell library.  This investment would serve as a platform for research on catastrophic illnesses and injuries including cancer, Alzheimer's and spinal cord damage, as well as heart disease and diabetes.

The second component of the gift was $10 million towards the development of a community based comprehensive care and training facility.  This project – the Downtown Health Campus – is located in central Hamilton and will open in early 2015.  It will receive more than 54,000 patient visits annually and play a significant role in downtown renewal.

The final component of the gift was a $25 million endowment fund allowing the Faculty of Health Sciences to be entrepreneurial in supporting and translating the most promising research. 

McMaster DailyNews story on Dr. Braley’s 2007 gift to health sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences’ webpage on Dr. Braley’s contributions to the faculty



Your contribution to the President’s Fund really does reach out and touch someone. Just ask the members of the Hamilton community who benefit from the Mac H2OPE Clinic (H2OPE stands for Helping Hamiltonians through Occupational and Physiotherapy Engagement). The clinic received start-up funding from the President’s Fund.

A partnership of the School of Rehabilitation Science, the YMCA of Hamilton / Burlington / Brantford and Hamilton Health Sciences, the clinic provides community members in financial need with free physiotherapy and occupational therapy. It also gives students the chance to practice their skills in a community setting. Sounds like a very tangible win-win.


McMaster Library donors


The McMaster Library system includes four main library facilities: Mills Memorial Library (humanities and social sciences), H.G. Thode Library of Science & Engineering, Innis Library (business) and the Health Sciences Library. Philanthropic support has long played a key role in the growth and development of library facilities and collections. In fact, the first alumni fundraising campaign in McMaster’s history took place after a fire in the library of McMaster Hall, and Mills Memorial Library is named in recognition of a donation from the Davella Mills Foundation.

In 1994, the McMaster Library unveiled a donor wall in Mills Memorial Library to recognize donors who had contributed $500 or more to the Library in the Centennial Campaign. Subsequently, more than 125 additional names have been added to the wall to recognize gifts of that level following the campaign.

McMaster Library website



At our President’s Club reception in September 2014, master’s student Michelle Reid (BAScH’12) had the daunting task of presenting her thesis in three minutes. Fortunately, she knows how to communicate her passion for the environment – she had already won the “Three-Minute Thesis” competition on campus, and she then represented McMaster at the provincial championships.


Michelle credits the financial support she’s received from two donor-funded awards with allowing her to reach a new level in her studies. “It’s made a huge difference to me to have the support of donor-funded awards. It’s allowed me to travel to conferences and to reach a whole new level in my studies and my research.”


McMaster's Philanthropy Day Video




 “There was a feeling of family at Mac,” recalls Angela Bidrau Kelly ’71. “The profs were not only exceptional teachers, they were also warm people who took the time to get to know you.”

A long-time supporter of bursaries at McMaster, Angela knows first-hand how important they are: as a student, she received a scholarship, flexible enough that it allowed her to travel to France for her third year studies. She credits her McMaster professors for encouraging her to study abroad and for being flexible in setting course requirements.

 “I wouldn’t be who I am without them,” says Angela, who went on to pursue a successful career as a teacher and principal.

 Her favourite Mac memory? The German professor who took out his guitar and ended every Friday’s class with a sing-along session of German folksongs.



Ron Joyce Centre Burlington


The Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington is the home of the MBA and executive education programs of the DeGroote School of Business.  The centre offers 90,000 square feet of state-of-the-art classrooms, meeting spaces and lecture facilities, all within a highly sustainable design that received LEED Gold certification.

Opened in September 2010, the Ron Joyce Centre is the result of a partnership between McMaster, the City of Burlington and Halton Region.  The project also attracted a significant number of private contributions including the $10 million gift from Ron Joyce that named the centre.

Website for Ron Joyce Centre