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Home > McGill News > 2000 > Spring 2000 > Newsbites

Korean colour


The Korean Studies Program and the Korean Students' Society of McGill put on a dazzling show on February 4 at Korean Night 2000, featuring traditional fan dance, music, food and martial arts. The event was intended to raise awareness about Korean Studies at McGill, since students are concerned that funding of the program by the Korea Foundation may be in jeopardy.

Meisen and May at Memorial

Arthur May (at right) recently retired after a decade as president of Memorial University in Newfoundland and sent us this photo to show that McGill "was present in a very significant way" on his campus last October. May, PhD'66, an expert in marine sciences, was succeeded by fellow alumnus Alex Meisen, PhD'70, at a special convocation for which the two donned McGill academic dress.

Meisen, who at one time taught chemical engineering at McGill, has also served as dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia and was most recently employed as special advisor to Methanex Corporation in Vancouver. In taking over the presidency at Memorial, he is maintaining an impressive national trend: McGill graduates hold the top post at a number of Canadian universities, including UBC (Martha Piper, PhD'79), Guelph (Mordechai Rozanski, BA'68), Queen's (William Leggett, PhD'69), Concordia (Frederick Lowy, BA'55, MDCM'59), Bishop's (Janyne Hodder, BA'70, MA'83) and, of course, McGill (Bernard Shapiro, BA'56, LLD'88).

Islamic treasures on your desktop

You may not have heard of them, but over the years McGill Systems Inc. has generated more than $20 million in product sales for the University. The McGill-owned subsidiary has marketed operating system software for mainframe computers -- MUSIC/SP and Host Explorer -- on behalf of the University since 1989. Their latest offering is a bit different: a multimedia CD-ROM entitled Treasures of Islam, produced by the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies and drawing on one-of-a-kind Islamic manuscripts in the Division of Rare Books and Special Collections.

McGill's Islamic holdings form one of the most important collections in Canada and these rarities will now have wider access in a portable, computer-friendly version. The trilingual (English, French and Arabic) CD-ROM contains examples of Islamic bookmaking from the 9th to the 20th century, including calligraphy from a variety of Islamic scribes, miniature paintings, lacquer bindings from Persia and Kashmir, and manuscripts such as prayer books and poetry.

"While it's especially useful to scholars, students and art collectors, the CD will also appeal to anyone else with an interest in Islamic culture and the tradition of Islamic art," says Jamshid Beheshti, Director of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, who along with Information Studies Professor Andrew Large and doctoral student Haidar Makdad designed and developed the CD-ROM. The project, says Beheshti, "is a fine example of how universities can use new technologies to share our valuable resources with people around the world."

McGill Systems Inc. has also released an enhanced CD of electroacoustic music by McGill composers. The latest CD, Vox Machina, from the Group of the Electronic Music Studio (GEMS) includes additional multimedia presentations. For information on ordering either CD, contact McGill Systems Inc. at (514) 398-4477 or

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