Alumni Activities Winter 2007-2008
Seeing old friends is always cause for celebration, but the alumni who attended Homecoming 2007 found themselves in the midst of a truly landmark event. Over 4,000 graduates packed McGill’s downtown and Macdonald campuses between October 18 and 21 for a weekend of exciting and educational activities. For some graduates, the trek back was a long one—Homecoming participants journeyed here from such places as the Dominican Republic, England, Israel, Puerto Rico, Barbados, the Czech Republic and Bermuda. While in Montreal, they helped to mark an extraordinary series of special occasions, including the 150th anniversary of the McGill Alumni Association (MAA), the closing festivities for Mac’s Centennial, and the first-ever Parents Weekend. To top it all off, alumni had the opportunity to take part in the official kickoff ceremonies as Campaign McGill: History in the Making got underway. The wine glasses have barely been put away, but the MAA staff and volunteers are already hard at work planning for next year. Even though 2007 was great, they’re determined to make Homecoming ’08 even better.
Cities in crisis
Don’t build ‘em like they used to
Once again, alumni flocked to Homecoming’s Classes Without Quizzes (CWOQs), hoping to relive their student days without the stress of exams. Enthusiastic participants spent the afternoon learning about everything from the history of gossip magazines in Canada to scientific explanations for paranormal events.
In his CWOQ lecture, “This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession,” psychology professor Daniel Levitin explored why our favourite songs inspire us to feel love, longing or an uncontrollable urge to get up and dance. Levitin is an award-winning producer and consultant who has collaborated on albums with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Blue Öyster Cult.
(Left to right) Authors Bill Brownstein, BCom’69, Heather O’Neill, BA’94, and Alex K. Paterson, BCL’56, served up a side of literary insights at this year’s Lunch et Livres event. The three graduates read from their latest works, answered questions and signed a few books for their adoring fans.
Unearthing Montreal’s Past
Participants in the first-ever Parents Weekend got an in-depth look at Montreal’s history during a tour of the Pointe à Callière Museum. Nearly 600 proud parents attended an array of family-friendly events, including classes, a football game and a hike on Mount Royal.
The Spotlight on Schulich concert got Homecoming 2007 off to a classy start.
The musical extravaganza featured live jazz, opera and orchestral samplings, plus a demonstration of experimental instruments and innovative research gadgets, all from the faculty and students of McGill’s world-renowned Schulich School of Music.
Chuckles all around
The jokes came fast and furious again this year at the 38th annual Leacock Luncheon. Head table guests, international entrepreneur and philanthropist John McCall MacBain, BA’80, Westmount mayor Karin Marks, CertEd’72, and Senator Michael Meighen, BA’60, couldn’t resist the sharp wit of guest lecturer George Bowser from the acclaimed comedy duo, Bowser & Blue.
Chancellor Richard Pound, BCom’62, BCL’67, braces for a deluge of good-natured ribbing from the Leacock Luncheon’s perennial moderator, emeritus professor of architecture Derek Drummond, BArch’62. McGill Alumni Association board member Daniel Lalonde, BCom’67, Martlet volleyball star Jennifer Thompson, McGill board of governors member Lili de Grandpré, MBA’81, and guest lecturer George Bowser momentarily forget that they could be next.
Waxman the Ironman
Even after a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a sub-4-hour marathon, alumnus Jordan Waxman, BA’86, LLB’91, BCL’92, could still muster the strength to display his McGill pride. On October 13, the former varsity swimming captain competed in the gruelling Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
Back row, left to right: Louis Chan, BEng’71, Carroll Henschel,BSc’93, Ron Collett, Victor San Vicente, BSc’70, Palash Desai, BEng’93, MEng’96, Cristina Capac, Dinu Radian, MBA’04, David Davidovic, BSc’79, MBA’88, Al Goldspiel, BEng’64, Erica Davidovic, Manisha Sharma, Gilbert O’Young, BSc’00. Front row, left to right: Mark Cooke, Leslie Hilford, BSc’93, BSc(OT)’96, Rié Shigematsu Collett, MBA’96
What’s “Bon Voyage” in Hindi?
Toronto alums Shari Chung, BSc’00, MSc’01, MDCM’06, and Anita Csapo, BA’94, BEd’96, satisfied their chocolate cravings during a special tasting session in the city’s historic Distillery District on February 28. Soma Chocolates treated local McGill graduates to an inside look at the chocolate-making process and quizzed participants on the sweet stuff’s history.
Future members of the Alumni Association of Georgia crafted some special artwork during the group’s May 20 visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Parents and children alike were treated to crafts, storytelling and even giant sculptures of insects.
Home Field Advantage
Members of the Hong Kong alumni branch enjoyed picture perfect weather during their Alumni Boat Trip on August 19. The laid-back group flew the McGill flag as they visited the Noon Day Gun, enjoyed a 13-dish lunch and splashed away the afternoon in the beautiful Causeway Bay.
A Capital Good Time
Young alumni in Ottawa enjoy some fiendish fun at the September installment of their monthly Wicked Wednesday Pub Night. In addition to toasting old McGill, enthusiastic branch members maintain a full schedule of events, including hockey games, dinners and trips to the ballet.
Left to right: Paul Waksberg, BCom’92, Julie Polisena, BCom’99, CertE-Comm’02, Parry Athenaios, BCL/LLB’00
Atmospheric and oceanic sciences professor Ron Stewart, an expert on extreme weather, blew into Lunenberg, Nova Scotia on June 9 as part of the “McGill on the Move” lecture series. Members of the McGill Alumni Association of Nova Scotia packed the local yacht club to hear his stormy tales of droughts, floods and tornadoes.
Left to right: Annette Rudman, BSc(OT)’84, Trish Leyenaar, MBA’00, Professor Stewart’s wife Terry, Bill Ritchie, BSc(Agr)’51, and Professor Ron Stewart
Past and present collided during the McGill Alumni Association’s recent trip to Sardinia, off the coast of Italy. Participants in the MAA’s travel program had the opportunity to explore some of the 8,000 nuraghi, or prehistoric ruins, that dot the island’s landscape.
Chasing a Cure
Left to right: Gillian Prendergast, BA’07, Rithya Caroline Ky, BEng’97, Joshua Vorstenbosch, BSc’04, Roslyn Bowers, BEd’90, MEd’06, Jasmine Bowers