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McGill University Milestones - 1885 to 1999

The University - 1971-1990


McGill's 150th Anniversary

Opening of Burnside Hall to house departments of Geography, Mathematics, Meteorology, Computer Science, and the Computing Centre.

McCord Museum reopened in old Students' Union.

Faculty of Arts and Science separated into the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science.

Faculty of Music moved into east wing and centre block of Royal Victoria College. Remodelled premises renamed Strathcona Music Building in honour of RVC founder, Lord Strathcona.

Office of Industrial Research established.

John Abbott College became tenant on Macdonald College campus.


Samuel Bronfman Building opened to house the Faculty of Management.

Thomson House acquired to house Post-Graduate Students' Society.

Committee on Educational Developement established.

Administrative reforms: Budget Planning Group and Four- (later Five-) Year Rolling Budget established; student unit norms for rational faculty financing introduced, with complete flexibility in sub-allocations; "extent of fiscal decentralization unique among universities." Career grades and salary norms established campus-wide for non-academic appointments.

Administrative Advisory Group and Management Planning Group (later Management Forum) organized. Secretariat-general of University established.


McGill Development Program inaugurated with objective of raising $25.3 million.

Departments of Therapeutic Radiology and Family Health instituted in the Faculty of Medecine.

Centre for Northern Studies and Research established.


St. Joseph's Teachers' College amalgamated with Faculty of Education.

School of Occupational Health opened at Mont St. Hilaire.

Artificial turf and synthetic track laid at Molson Stadium.

Maurice Pollack Concert Hall opened.

First non-academic staff representatives elected to the Board of Governors.


Stuart M. Finlayson, Thirteenth Chancellor, 1975-1976.

History of McGill Project established and James McGill Society founded for encouragement of McGill history studies.


Conrad F. Harrington, Fourteenth Chancellor, 1976-1984.

William Eakin, Chairman, Board of Governors, 1976-1978.

Dairy Herd Analysis Service regulated 5,100 herds (200,000 head of cattle) in Quebec and the Maritimes.


Ernest Rutherford Physics Building opened.

Cancer Clinical Research Centre established.

Andrew Schally, BSc'55. PhD'57, first alumnus awarded a Nobel Prize (Medicine and Physiology).

Alma Mater Fund annual donations exceeded $1 million.

University presented brief to National Assembly on French Language Charter (Bill 101), concluding: "Sweeping measures to maintain the French-speaking numerical superiority are unnecessary, and being coercive, are detrimental to Quebec as a whole."


Chief Justice Alan Gold, Chairman, Board of Governors, 1978-1982.

Macdonald-Stewart Building opened at Macdonald College.

W.W. Francis Wing of the Osler Library, including H. Rocke Robertson Room, opened.

McGill Developement Program closed with a total of $27.2 million.


David Lloyd Johnston, Fourteenth Principal and Vice-Chancellor, 1979-1994.

R.E. Powell Student Services Building opened.

Wilder Penfield Wing of Montreal Neurological Institute opened.



McGill University, For the Advancement of Learning, Volume I, 1801-1893, by S.B. Frost, McGill-Queen's Press, published.

University Library received Rodolphe Joubert Collection on French Canada, 3,000 volumes.


We Walked Very Warily, A History of Women at McGill, by Margaret Gillett, Eden Press, published.

Restored Redpath Hall reopened with Classical French organ constructed by Helmut Wolf.

Physical Sciences and Engineering Library opened in restored Macdonald-Stewart (formerly Macdonald Physics) Building.


Women graduates won all four gold medals in Engineering.

Visitors' Pavilion opened at Mont St. Hilaire Nature Conservation Centre.

Contracts accepted this year by Office of Industrial Research exceeded $5 million mark.

McGill Advancement program launched with goal of $61 million.


A. Jean de Grandpré, Fifteenth Chancellor, 1984-1991.

Webster Pavilion and brain-imaging centre opened at Montreal Neurological Institute.

McGill reviewed by Quebec's Conseil des universités. Report noted that research budget had increased 150% in seven years; McGill graduated 14% of Quebec's bachelor degrees, 21% of master's and 39% of doctorates. Administration costs at 6.8% of operating budget compared favourably with others in province.

McGill University, For the Advancement of learning, Volume II, 1893-1971, by S.B. Frost, McGill-Queen's Press, published.


Six Inuit women received diplomas from School of Human Communication Disorders for success in courses taught in Inuktitut. McGill also teaching in 34 other languages.

Biology Department's plant biology group received record grant from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council for a phytotron.

Second mainframe computer acquired; an estimated 3,000 microcomputers now on campus; Meridian SL1 telecommunications system installed to provide for networking.


Morgan Arboretum received the mérite forestier award from the Quebec Department of Energy and Resources.

McGill Advancement Program closed with total of $77.3 million. since 1980, 38 new professorial chairs endowed: "an unstoppable momentum for the future."


McGill Libraries computerized for campus-wide accessibility.

McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women established.


Joint MBA/Asian Studies Program established.

McGill Symphony Orchestra performed Mahler at New York's Carnegie Hall to critical acclaim.


Alex Paterson, Chairman, Board of Governors, 1990-1994.

Faculty of Agriculture renamed faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Of fourteen Federal Centres of Excellence established in Canada in Science and Technology, McGill chosen to direct four and to collaborate in six others - the largest share of all participating institutions.

First Nursing PhD in Canada awarded to Francine Ducharme.

McGill Bookstore reopened in specially designed building on McTavish Street; largest university bookstore in Eastern Canada.

Management Forum organized two-day seminar for support staff; "The McGill Manager."

Annual Giving funds passed $3 million mark; total private support for year surpassed $29 million.

McGill registered 21,204 full- and part-time degree and diploma candidtaes, including 7,853 in Graduate Faculty; also 8,320 registered in Continuing Education; 22% of all students registered mother tongue as French. McGill awarded 6,193 degrees, diplomas, and certificates including 193 Phds.