Oct. 20, 2004

$1 million gift to McMaster University bursary honoured by Lieutenant Governor

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Paul MacPherson announces a $1 million gift to McMaster University.

Hamilton, ON - Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman and McMaster University President and Vice-Chancellor Peter George announced today a $1 million gift from Mr. Paul R. MacPherson to McMaster University.

The gift augments the Paul R. MacPherson Bursary, established at McMaster in 1998 in response to Mr. MacPherson’s belief that all students should be able to pursue their educational goals. The bursary is available to any student currently enrolled at McMaster University with a preference being given for graduates of Muskoka Lakes Secondary School or Aboriginal students from a First Nation community in Ontario.

Canadian business executive, philanthopist and McMaster graduate Paul R. MacPherson (Class of ’57) proudly participated in today’s gift announcement.

“I probably wouldn’t have gone to university if McMaster hadn’t been there,” says Mr. MacPherson. “I know what a difference it made in my life, so it is indeed a pleasure to provide support for other students, and perhaps some from my hometown Muskoka Lakes area, to help them achieve their education.”

Mr. MacPherson graduated from Muskoka Lakes Secondary School in 1953. At that time, McMaster offered a ‘preliminary year’ that allowed Mr. MacPherson to earn the credits he needed to attain a university education. He went on to complete his Bachelor of Arts from the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster and later an MBA at the University of Western Ontario.

In 1977, Mr. MacPherson, purchased Valcom Limited, a supplier of electronics and aerospace equipment. As president and general manager, the company has diversified and expanded operations with facilities in Ottawa, Guelph, Vancouver, Kingston and Halifax. The business exports products to 30 countries and generates annual sales of $42 million.

Like Mr. MacPherson, the Honourable James Bartleman grew up in Muskoka Lakes Township and together they share many similar childhood memories and interests. An ongoing interest is their mutual support of their hometown community as well as educational facilities and services to First Nation communities in Northern Ontario. Mr. MacPherson was recently recognized for his philanthropy and commitment to all of the communities that have touched his life as a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award.

“It is with unbridled enthusiasm and energy that Paul MacPherson makes a tremendous contribution to higher education, communities and many organizations that have played a part in his life and career,” says Mr. Bartleman. “I commend him on his kindness which touches the lives of many people including the students at McMaster University.”

McMaster President Peter George believes “that Mr. MacPherson’s generosity and small town values are unique qualities that make this tremendous gift to McMaster University very special. The Paul R. MacPherson Bursary creates opportunities and opens doors for McMaster students who will benefit from them throughout their lives. Mr. MacPherson’s commitment to higher education and giving back to the community that helped him along his journey will enhance McMaster University and our commitment to being an inclusive community with a shared purpose of excellence in research and education. I thank him sincerely for his incredible generosity.”

The announcement of the recent gift to the Paul R. MacPherson Bursary took place at a lunch reception today at the President’s Residence at McMaster University. Mr. MacPherson was honoured by Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman, Dr. Peter George, invited guests and McMaster University representatives.