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To say thanks, we’re shining a spotlight on you.

In this Giving Report, we celebrate your generosity by highlighting stories of people and projects that you helped last year. Thank you for being the spark that makes a brighter world possible.

Bright Ideas

Melissa, Akiv, Mandakini, and Amy are only a few of the Mac students researching solutions to benefit our lives and our communities.

We hope these young researchers inspire you and make you feel good about supporting the student experience with gifts to undergraduate and graduate scholarships, bursaries, and program support.


A brainy device to save lives

For their undergraduate capstone project, Akiv Jhirad ’16 and Mandakini Jain ’16 developed the NICS (Near Infrared Cerebral Scanner), a non-invasive, handheld tool that allows for quick detection of a hematoma – an abnormal collection of blood outside a blood vessel – which often occurs from head injuries during contact sports. Early detection can expedite admission to the ER and save lives.

“We want to thank McMaster and its donors. Your support has helped give us critical resources to launch our new careers as biomedical engineers and business owners.”

Now master’s students at McMaster, they have co-founded ImagineMED Inc. to develop non-invasive medical devices.

Local tomatoes in December?

Scholarship recipient Melissa Houghton ’17 is working to make it possible. Her start-up, Lumago, has introduced a commercially viable aquaponics system that can help Canadian greenhouses drive down cost and increase yields – and it’s organic.

Lumago has also entered the education space selling StudyPonics - an aquaponics system that incorporates experiential learning into the classroom.

Melissa founded the company as part of the Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation master’s program.

Paying forward a love of learning

Raised by a single father, Amy Pachai ’13 is one of five children. Bursary support helped pay for her undergrad. At the end of her second year, she applied to become a TA for MacIntroPsych.

“It truly changed my life path,” says Amy of the teaching experience.

Now Amy is working on her PhD in Psychology, and she received a scholarship to help her with current expenses. She is exploring how the science of learning, attention and memory can help first-year students get the most out of their lectures and learning.

Thanks to the support of donors like you, Amy was set up for success. She now has the opportunity to help other students to achieve their own success.

Your maroon pride is worldwide.

In 2017, 7,888 donors from 21 countries supported McMaster.

A year in my life at McMaster

Cam and Patricia captured their final year as undergrads through photos and video in the A year in my life at McMaster project. They are grateful to donors like you for helping to enrich their student experience at Mac with scholarships, bursaries, and program support.

If you missed A year in my life at McMaster, you can click here to view it.

A hometown advocate

Cam Galindo ’17 came to Canada as a refugee when he was seven years old. Last fall, he was the first in his family to graduate from university with his political science degree at Mac. He wants to dedicate his time to supporting the Hamilton community – and he has his eye on running in this year’s municipal election.

Cam shared his final year through photos and video - click here to see.



A passionate student leader

Patricia Kousoulas ’17 documented her time supporting the student body as president of the Science Society. In June, she had the honour of representing her graduating class as valedictorian for the Faculty of Science.

You can view Patricia's documented year by clicking here.



Last year, 97% of donors to McMaster made gifts under $5,000.

These gifts totalled $1,600,000!

Here's what your dollars funded last year:

 Graph Legend


Your gifts go where you direct them.

125 Bursary: five years later

For two days in 2012, our wonderful community of alumni and friends came together to celebrate McMaster’s 125 years of excellence. Thanks to gifts of all sizes from 595 donors, the 125 Bursary was created. So far, 25 students are the grateful recipients of your support.



Spruced-up study spaces

Thanks to your gifts to the McMaster Libraries, much-needed upgrades have been made to:

• Replace worn furniture
• Refresh study rooms
• Create collaborative and silent study spaces



Did you know?

The archives of Stuart McLean – CBC journalist, best-selling author and host of the perennially popular radio program the Vinyl Cafe – were gifted to McMaster in November.

Learn more - click here.

Young alumni donors - thank you!

We are beaming with pride to count all 1,948 of you among our Mac donors.

A boost to student mental health

McMaster’s safeTALK program has been boosted with young alumni gifts to student mental health. Your support helps fund these vital services:

• A safeTALK trainer
• 187 trained student suicide-alert helpers
• A specialized caregiver for suicide intervention

President's Club and Gilmour Society members, THANK YOU for your continued support of our mission.

A gift in memory

Bruce Miyashita ’84 recalls visiting campus with his mother after Grade 13. They were introduced to the ArtSci program’s first director, Herb Jenkins, who was launching a revolutionary new undergraduate program that bridged the arts and sciences. Thirty-five years later, the Arts & Science Program is still going strong.

“You want your undergraduate degree to set you up for lifelong learning,” says Bruce, “and my Arts & Science degree definitely accomplished that.”

Last year, he made a $350,000 gift – the largest-ever donation to the program – in honour of its 35th anniversary and in memory of his parents, Tom and Nancy Miyashita.

Learn more about his gift. Click here.

A lasting legacy

Social worker, professor, and mentor Karl Kinanen ’67 passed away last year at the age of 90. He was a founding faculty member of McMaster’s School of Social Work and was instrumental in developing gerontology as a field of study in Canada.

When he retired in 1992, the Karl Kinanen Public Lecture Fund was established in his honour through donations from his many students, colleagues and friends.

Karl Kinanen kindly left a bequest to further support his eponymous lecture series – a free series that features a prominent expert in the field of aging and encourages knowledge exchange with the public, service providers and older adults.

To learn more about his work and the lecture series, click here.

A love for the liberal arts

“We must constantly work to better understand who we are – our history, our communities, our cultures, ourselves – if we are to make sound decisions about our nation and our place in the world.”  - Chancellor Emeritus Lynton “Red” Wilson '62

The Socrates Project is a two-year campus-wide pilot project that will foster deeply engaged citizens and leaders by bringing together our liberal arts education experts and researchers in new and exciting ways.

It’s possible thanks to a $2-million gift in 2017 from Chancellor Emeritus Lynton “Red” Wilson.

To learn more about his gift and the Socrates Project click here.



Bright minds in a bright building

L.R. Wilson Hall is a 151,000 square foot building for the Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Chancellor Emeritus Wilson contributed $10 million to the building that brightens the day – literally and figuratively – of so many students who use it.

We officially celebrated the building in October 2017 and created a video for the celebration.

We invite you to see a day in the life of L.R. Wilson Hall. Watch the video below.


Thank you for helping McMaster shine even brighter!

Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference when we work together.

Make a gift