Campaign update

The McGill Twenty-First Century Fund pulls into the home stretch

With less than a month remaining in the campaign, The McGill Twenty-First Century Fund would like to thank all the supporters and volunteers who have helped us come so close to our objective. Look for our wrap-up report in the May 23 edition of the Reporter.

McGill Institute for the Study of Canada receives substantial gift from Conrad Black

The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, established in 1994 with an extremely generous commitment from Charles R. Bronfman and family, has been one of the proudest feathers in McGill's cap in recent years. A $250,000 gift from well-known industrialist Conrad Black will give the Institute further means to pursue and expand its programs.

MISC Director Dr. Desmond Morton notes that the donation comes at a time of "shrinking resources for Canadian (and other) studies in McGill's Faculty of Arts. MISC certainly welcomes a broadened coalition of supporters for the Institute."

There is clearly no shortage of issues to tackle, especially in the wake of the Quebec referendum. Morton is now considering how best to apply the gift.

"After consultation with Mr. Black, we expect to address aspects of the MISC mission which have so far been neglected, notably in seeking a better understanding of our economic future as a country. Canada made real progress toward regional equality in the 1970s and 1980s. How come so few people noticed? How do we reverse the lag experienced in the 1990s? Our future may depend on the answers."

Fraser Memorial Trust gift brings medicine on-line

At the touch of a computer key, a colourful anatomical diagram springs to life on the screen--the 1990s version of the Visible Woman and Visible Man models found under so many Christmas trees circa 1960. Professor Robert E. Kearney grins like a proud parent.

Kearney, Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department, is demonstrating applications of the medical informatics system to a fascinated audience of representatives from the Dr. John R. Fraser and Mrs. Clara M. Fraser Memorial Trust and the Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company (Montreal Trust), which manages the Fraser estate.

The $1-million gift to The McGill Twenty-First Century Fund from the Fraser Memorial Trust will outfit the Faculty of Medicine with the necessary computing equipment and software to ensure that all departments are connected to the "fibre-optics-based backbone."

This donation dovetails neatly with the Molson Foundation gift for medical informatics announced in November 1995. Medical informatics is an emerging discipline that utilizes state-of-the-art information technology to improve medical education, research, and patient care. The Fraser Memorial Trust gift will let McGill medical students and professors tap into computing, libraries and other management facilities from around the campus and around the world.

Faculty of Medicine Dean Abraham Fuks likens the system to a flight simulator. "Medical students will still learn social skills from dealing with [live] patients, of course. We will still need cadavers as a teaching tool, but imaging is a tremendous help. Obviously, patients prefer their doctor to have logged some real 'flight time,' too!"

From the office of The McGill Twenty-First Century Fund