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Dear amazing McMaster supporter: thank you!

We've gathered our favourite stories -- your stories, really -- from 2016 to share with you. Consider this collection as a celebration of the remarkable university community that YOU make possible.

Together, you and fellow donors helped to award 5,653 bursaries and 6,113 scholarships to deserving students last year. We can quantify your giving with numbers, but your impact is truly immeasurable! Thank you for supporting and encouraging students when they can really use the help -- students like Sara, Patricia and Logo.

Sara, graduate student, grateful scholarship recipient

“Scholarships have given me the opportunity to pursue my interest in kinesiology and more specifically healthy aging. I am hopeful that the work I do will have a large and meaningful impact on how aging adults, and hospital care, view nutrition and the importance of maintaining muscle for health and independence. Without additional funding, the decision to stay in graduate school may not have been so easy.”




Patricia, fourth year, grateful bursary recipient

“As a student who needs to pay for my education on my own, financial assistance from donors has helped to make my undergraduate experience much easier.” 





Logo, third year, grateful bursary recipient

“It really touched me that McMaster alumni would think about helping students. I’m grateful for the learning opportunities that are available to me at Mac. I’m grateful to McMaster donors who help to make them possible. One day, I hope I can have a positive impact on someone else’s life, just like donors have for me.”





Students felt the impact of your generosity on Mac Tag Day

In November, we worked with student volunteers to cover the McMaster campus in a sea of maroon tags on National Philanthropy Day. That's because we wanted to show students just how much you and fellow donors do to support their education ...we affixed a maroon tag to everything on campus that is donor-supported. Students were truly wowed as maroon tags could be seen all across campus.

Click here to read through student reactions to Tag Day - it's really wonderful!

In 2016, 8,026 donors from 22 countries around the world supported McMaster.

Students can take full advantage of library resources thanks to you

Your gifts to the University Library helped support library-classroom collaborations. In a world of information overload, it can be difficult to decipher which data is credible and how to use information in research and scholarship. McMaster’s librarians work as co-educators with faculty to teach students essential information literacy and research skills, ensuring that McMaster’s students graduate with excellent critical thinking skills for life-long learning.




Thank you for your gifts that nurtured the arts on campus

With a facility and collection built on the generosity of donors, the Museum gave Rachel the chance to get involved in developing an arts education program, and now Rachel’s dream is to open her own education gallery. “It’s an opportunity a lot of emerging artists don’t get. My experience at the museum gave me perspective on what arts education looks like across a broad spectrum of ages. I am so appreciative that I had these opportunities that would not have been possible without donor funding.”




A family that gives together

Marjorie Smith is reminded of her late husband every time she attends a concert on campus. The Psychology professor and former department chair, Grant Smith, was a true lover of classical music. That’s why Marjorie, daughter Lara Smith-Grunthal and son-in-law Paul Grunthal decided to financially support McMaster’s LIVELaba space that helps to explore how musicians perform together, how rhythm might help an autistic child or Parkinson’s patient, and how hearing aids might work better in noisy settings, among other things.

The Smith-Grunthals are just some of the people who supported the University last year during the Give Maroon faculty and staff fundraising campaign.




Mac10, you came together to fund some important projects on campus last year.

Your gifts to the nutrition project help students who can use the support to access fresh food along with cooking and nutrition-related skills. Proper nutrition has physical and mental health benefits which can benefit a student during a busy and, at times, stressful school schedule. Your gifts to the safeTALK program help to train more students to recognize thoughts of suicide in their peers and to connect them to the proper resources.Your gifts to the water network – a university-wide initiative to connect water science, technology, and policy – help support our water quality locally in Cootes Paradise and Hamilton Harbour, as well as globally in parts of South America and Africa.

In 2016, Mac10 donors also completely funded an endowed bursary, the Mac10 Bursary! Each year a Mac student will receive $1,000 because you came together to raise $25,000 for an endowment. That’s pretty awesome.

An inspiring legacy

Ernest Kay ’47, ’49 generously left McMaster in his will his two-storey Westdale home as well as funds to augment a scholarship he established in 1999. A portrait of him as a young man hangs on the wall of his home. It is pictured here with four people who have been touched by his life: Qiyin Fang, who will lead a unique research project, a living laboratory, in Ernest's former home that will enable older people to live in their homes longer; Tiffany (Yuxin) Tian ’15 and Saad Syed ’16, who each received a scholarship; and Priscilla Bayliss, his personal support worker.

Some of his library collection has been donated to the library and archives including his memoirs. Fittingly, Ernest’s memoirs acknowledge the importance of education. His parents were both teachers “who instilled in me the love of learning at an early age… My pleasure in the pursuit of science has been very much dependent on my contact with dedicated teachers all along the road.” His generosity will support students and innovative research at his alma mater for years to come.   

Aging: we're all doing it

Thanks to the generosity of McMaster Chancellor Suzanne Labarge ‘67, we can benefit from the results of increased optimal aging research. Her recent gift to McMaster in 2016 funds the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging, which aims to help seniors live more independently through greater mobility, better health and fitness, and increased social connection. Suzanne's generosity stems from her desire to help us live as healthy and independent as possible as we age. 

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, your source for healthy aging information that you can trust, was created thanks to Suzanne’s previous gift to optimal aging and her recognition of our need for access to trusted information as we age.

“Each donor has his or her own reasons for giving and their own specific interests. The common thread that runs through our giving is that we want to feel that we can make a difference.”

You make a big difference!

97% of all gifts came from individuals like YOU.

McMaster retirees continue a tradition of supporting students

Last year, the McMaster University Retirees Association (MURA) celebrated the 25th anniversary of a scholarship they established in support of students studying Gerontology, and they have since also added a Prize. Thank you for your continued support of McMaster and for your commitment to growing your Scholarship & Prize to provide even greater impact.

"My name is Grace Martin and I would like to thank you for your generosity in donating to the MURA scholarship. I am honoured to have received this award. I am in my third year at McMaster University completing a double major in Gerontology and Health Studies. Alongside my studies, I volunteer at a Retirement Residence with individuals with dementia. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to put the knowledge I am acquiring into practice and I look forward to being able to improve care for individuals with this condition in the future."


Celebrating 50 years since graduation with a gift

It was their golden anniversary, and to celebrate the Class of 1966 gathered on Alumni Reunion Weekend in June to reminisce together about their days at Mac and also to celebrate a special gift they gave to McMaster to mark the occasion. The class came together to fund two student awards, a bursary and a scholarship, which will support McMaster students in their educational pursuits for many years to come. An anonymous class member offered to match gifts to the fund, which bolstered the impact of the awards even more.

You can be proud Class of 1966! Together, you have accomplished a lot!

Thank you for an amazing year

We wanted to share these stories with you to show you how much you make possible through your philanthropy, how much your involvement with the University is valued, and just how much you mean to McMaster and to the people who benefit from your generosity. This is why you matter to McMaster.