With McGill's "family" including more than 120,000 alumni living in over 170 countries around the world, the McGill Alumni Association finds itself with a lot of ground to cover when it comes to keeping in touch with graduates and letting them know about the programs and benefits it provides.

These programs are important and useful to both the University and its graduates, as well as to current and future McGill students. Money raised from many of our services goes to support fellowships and the on-campus work-study program for students; it also allows us to offer our alumni fun and educational events and activities. And in many cases, graduates can profit from discounts and advantages not available elsewhere. Alumni services and activities have been growing steadily, so here's an update on what's available -- from gym memberships to luxury cruises, alumni receptions to digital PCS phones, a new McGill Affinity credit card and much more...

If you want to keep your children close to the family, what do you do? You write them, you call them on the phone, you go to see them, and you invite them to come back whenever they can. That's the same thing we should do in a good alumni program.

-- the late D. Lorne Gales, BA'32, BCL'35, LLD'79, former Executive Director of the Graduates' Society of McGill University (now the Alumni Association) and former Director of Development.

Worldwide MAA Branches, Contacts and Activities

First up is the worldwide network of branches that allow the Alumni Association to reach out internationally. Alumni branches are regional groups of graduates and friends who keep fellow alumni informed about the University and get them involved in social, educational, charitable and community service activities.

There are 98 branches of the Alumni Association across the globe, providing international contacts and networking opportunities for graduates. Whether you're in Tokyo, Nairobi, Atlanta or Toronto, there's usually a member of an Alumni Association chapter who's willing to help out.

Many chapters of the Alumni Association regularly host events for graduates, friends and family, with visits from McGill leaders, famous grads, professors and leading researchers. It might be a dinner reception with the Principal, or a get-together with fellow Health Science graduates to hear the latest news about the Faculty of Medicine from the Dean. It could be a visit from astronaut and McGill grad Dave Williams, BSc'76, MSc'83, MDCM'83, on hand to teach kids about his trip aboard the space shuttle Columbia. Or it could be an aquarium tour with renowned biologist and McGill professor Amanda Vincent. Guided museum tours, wine tasting events, mountain hikes, golf tournaments, Internet workshops, pub crawls or cooking classes: you name it, an Alumni branch has done it.

For information on worldwide branches of the McGill Alumni Association, call (514) 398-3008 or e-mail

You can also find a list of branches and contacts on the "Alumni & friends" website at

In addition to branches around the world, the Montreal-area associations offer a constant and varied roster of activities and events. Groups like the McGill Society of Montreal, McGill Young Alumni, the Macdonald branch, the McGill Women's Alumnae Association and the Alumni Association itself regularly feature lectures, receptions, nights on the town and all kinds of events for graduates. Many of the events are family-oriented activities as well, such as the "Mad Science" workshops or cabane à sucre outings.

The Robert Vogel Lecture Series presented by the Alumni Association and the McGill Society of Montreal is always well attended, and features prominent members of the McGill community providing a diverse mix of fascinating talks on current events, science, the arts and more. The McGill Young Alumni recently offered a guided tour of the Monet exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and at the other end of the scale, the McGill Society of Montreal hosted a forensic medicine evening with Kathy Reichs, author of the gruesome bestseller Déjà Dead.

Upcoming events planned by the McGill Society of Montreal include a two-part "Antiques Roadshow" featuring a panel discussion on silver, china, porcelain and crystal, with guest antique experts, on April 28. On May 1, graduates can bring in their personal treasures to be appraised, Roadshow-style. And don't forget that October classic brought to you by the McGill Women's Alumnae Association and the Women Associates of McGill -- the McGill Book Fair always brings out hundreds of eager book buyers (and a fair number of book sellers!) looking for great bargains. Last year the two-day fair raised $55,000 for scholarships.

Last but certainly not least is Homecoming. Each year thousands of graduates return to both McGill campuses to join in lively class reunions, yuk it up at the Leacock Luncheon, cheer on the Redmen at the Homecoming football game, and much more, with all events organized by Alumni Association staff and hundreds of graduate volunteers.

For information on Montreal-area activities of the McGill Alumni Association, call (514) 398-8288, or e-mail

Financial and Insurance Services

McGill Affinity VISA card

The Alumni Association now offers a McGill Affinity VISA card from the Royal Bank, allowing you to support McGill every time you use the card. With each purchase you make with your Royal Bank McGill VISA, a percentage goes to the University. The credit card program is open to the entire McGill family including students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends. This new program replaces the old affinity Mastercard.

There are three cards available: VISA Classic (no fee), VISA Gold (no fee), and VISA Gold Preferred (annual fee).

Depending on the card you choose you can get exclusive savings at Royal Bank VISA Partner locations, automatic purchase security insurance, extended warranty insurance, worldwide cash access, automatic insurance on rental cars, travel accident insurance and more.

For more information or an application form, please contact Alumni Services at (514) 398-1578 or e-mail

Home and Auto Insurance

As a McGill graduate, you can take advantage of group rates on insurance. McGill Alumni insurance programs are open to all graduates and their spouses.

Meloche Monnex insurance brokers offer quality insurance at competitive group rates. Their service includes interest-free monthly preauthorized payments, and an appraisal service for auto damages, when and where it's most convenient. Clients are entitled to a Meloche Monnex card that provides access to their Assistance Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the world.

Meloche Monnex also offers travel and small business insurance.

For a free quotation, call Meloche Monnex at 1-800-361-3821 in Quebec or 1-800-268-8955 in the rest of Canada and ask for the group representative for McGill.

Insurance for U.S. Alumni

In response to many requests from our U.S.-based grads, the Alumni Association is beginning to offer some services south of the border. The first of these is an insurance program from the U.S.-based company, Amica, which includes home, auto, marine and liability insurance for U.S. residents and seasonal homeowners.

We plan on adding more services for U.S. grads in the near future, so stay tuned.

For more information, call Amica at 1-800-24-AMICA and ask for the representative for McGill alumni.

Life Insurance and Health & Dental Insurance

The Manulife McGill Alumni Life Insurance plan includes Term Life Insurance and Major Accident Protection for graduates and their spouses. You can also apply for Income Protection coverage and Child Life and Accident coverage. This McGill Alumni Association plan can provide you with basic insurance protection, or can supplement any existing coverage you may have.

The Alumni Association and Manulife are also offering an Alumni Health and Dental Plan. Coverage includes prescriptions drugs, hospital stays, convalescence, nursing, prescription eyewear, travel emergencies, physiotherapy, basic and major dental work, and more. The insurance is available to alumni and their spouses who are under 61 years of age and resident in Canada, as well as any dependent children under age 25.

Note: As of March 1, 1999, anyone insured with Crown Canada (formerly Crown Life) through the MAA will automatically be upgraded to the Manulife Financial insurance plan.

For brochures and detailed information, contact Manulife at 1-800-668-0195, or if you are calling from the Toronto area, 1-416-229-3000.

If you have questions about any of the above programs, you can contact Alumni Services at (514) 398-1578, or e-mail

Travel the World

Begun 35 years ago, the McGill Alumni Travel Program offers top quality tours for graduates with a goal of encouraging "lifetime learning" through travel. The program provides a combination of discovery, adventure and educationally oriented travel opportunities, allowing graduates to expand their cultural and intellectual horizons in the good company of fellow alumni, family and friends.

In the early years, the program offered two to three trips each year. Today, that number has grown to 15 to 20 a year, and features voyages like a safari in Kenya, cruises of the Grenadines or New Zealand and Australia, a Classical Renaissance tour with stops in Sorrento, Rome, Florence and Venice, or a trip to the "roof of the world" visiting Nepal and Tibet.

This is a very popular program full of unusual destinations and tours: group travellers often have access to trips and excursions that would be difficult or time-consuming for solo travellers to organize. The program also emphasizes variety, so no matter what your interest may be, you're bound to find a trip that suits you. For example, there are cruises on large ships (1,500 passengers) or smaller craft (80 passengers). People can choose from land excursions where they can stay in one hotel and explore one geographic area, or excursions that involve a variety of stops along the way. The "alumni college" trips are always popular, combining travel with an educational component made up of tours, lectures, seminars and other cultural activities. This year the college locations include Aix-en-Provence, historic Ennis in Ireland's County Clare, Tuscany, and the Greek island of Poros.

All tours are offered by the finest wholesale operators. McGill University sponsorship means that a tour company has met criteria for established reputation, professional staff, quality operations and dependability. Whenever possible, the program offers faculty lecturers, hosts and special events. Destinations change from year to year, and spots are limited so be sure to contact us early to avoid disappointment!

The program is open to all interested travellers. For information and brochures, please contact the Alumni Travel Program at (514) 398-8961 or e-mail

Get Wired -- Communications Services

ClearNET Digital PCS Phone

The Alumni Association has just introduced this new program for graduates who want a wireless phone to keep in touch wherever they may be. Digital PCS phones are quickly replacing the old analog cellular phone technology. These new phones have many features: caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding, voice mail, e-mail messaging and three-way calling. McGill Telecom and the Alumni Association have chosen ClearNET as their supplier and alumni can get this PCS phone service for $20 a month. Sign up now and get a free leather carrying case with the McGill coat of arms. There are often other national ClearNET gift-with-purchase programs to take advantage of, so be sure to check with us on what's available.

For more information, call ClearNET at 1-888-498-3333 and enter the code MAA-01.

Affinity Internet Plan

Everyone is exploring the Internet these days and you can, too, with the unlimited Internet access package from ACC. Send e-mail to old friends, surf the web for research or fun, join newsgroups and discussion lists, check out CBC or CNN news online, listen to Internet radio, and shop from electronic catalogues: the world of cyberspace is expanding at an astonishing rate. The free software package from ACC includes e-mail and web browser programs, and an Internet guide to get you started. Unlimited access is available for $24.95 per month. If you are also an ACC Long Distance subscriber, you pay only $19.95, saving $5 a month. By the way, once you're online, don't forget to visit us on the web at

Other packages include:

  • 10 hours of Internet access for $9.95 per month
  • 25 hours of Internet access for $16.95 per month
  • Free Web Page Storage for 1 month
  • For more information, call ACC at 1-888-274-7920 and ask for the McGill representative.

Affinity Long Distance Savings Plan

Keep in touch! ACC's Long Distance services are available to all McGill alumni, friends, faculty and staff. Select what best suits your needs from a variety of options:

$20 Unlimited Package

  • Pay only 10 cents per minute to a maximum of $20 per month anywhere in Canada. Monday to Friday from 6 pm to 8 am and all weekend long.

Retro Rates

  • 5 cents per minute anywhere in North America, all day Sunday.
  • 9 cents per minute anywhere in North America Monday to Friday from 6 pm to 8 am and all day Saturday.
  • 20 cents per minute, anywhere in Canada, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm and anywhere in the U.S., any time Monday to Saturday.

    In January, AT&T announced the purchase of ACC but at press time there had been no changes made to the company name or the service programs. Current subscribers will be informed if any changes are planned, and new subscribers can simply call ACC at 1-888-274-7920 and ask for the McGill representative.

    If you have questions about any of the above Communications programs, you can contact Alumni Services at (514) 398-1578, or e-mail

    Alumni Merchandise

    McGill Wear -- McGill à porter

    Just can't wait to get a McGill T-shirt or sweatshirt? How about a McGill toque or a pair of flannel boxer shorts for those chillier days? Whatever the weather, you'll be dressed for success. The Alumni Association offers a range of great clothing and merchandise featuring the McGill logo -- from polo shirts to windbreakers to pewter McGill pen holders, you can display your alma mater's colours in style.

    For a brochure or more information, call (514) 398-8961 or e-mail

    The merchandise is also online at

    Diploma Framing Program

    After years of hard work and dedication, you've earned your degree! Now, instead of retiring your diploma to the bottom of your sock drawer, you can have this emblem of your achievement framed.

    The McGill Alumni Association offers diploma frames that are ready to use and "framer friendly." You can mount your diploma in a high-quality polished brass frame or a rich walnut wooden frame, complete with red mats emblazoned with the McGill coat of arms.

    Prices range from $60 to $75.

    For more information, call (514) 398-8961 or e-mail

    Health and Fitness

    McGill Sports Centre

    Want to maintain -- or perhaps regain -- that college-era physique? Graduates can continue to enjoy the outstanding downtown facilities of the McGill Sports Centre, including:

    • a 5,500-square-foot, fully equipped Fitness Centre
    • 200-metre, six-lane indoor track and field facility
    • 25-metre, eight-lane pool with three diving boards
    • ten North American squash courts
    • a new aerobics room

    McGill alumni and spouses receive discounted memberships (4, 8 and 12 month plans available).

    Or take an "Active Living" course: you can choose from rock climbing, power yoga, flamenco dancing, and more. There is something for everyone, including the popular kids' program and the summer sports daycamp for children of alumni.

    For more information call the Department of Athletics at (514) 398-7000.

    Nation-Wide Recreational Facilities

    Moving to another Canadian city? As a graduate of McGill you can use athletic and recreation facilities at participating universities across Canada -- and enjoy special discounted alumni rates.

    For a list of universities participating in the program, call Alumni Services at (514) 398-1578 or e-mail

    Alumni on the Web

    The Development and Alumni Relations homepage, Alumni & friends, is located at If you have Internet access, one of the easiest ways to keep up on the latest news from the Alumni Association is to visit us on the web.

    What You'll Find

    When you visit the Alumni & friends homepage you'll find descriptions of the services available from the Alumni Association, the latest in alumni travel tours, McGill alumni clothing and merchandise, the online version of the McGill News, and when Home-coming rolls around, a complete schedule of reunion activities.

    The homepage also links you to the main McGill page, known as the McGill Gateway, where you can get the latest campus news, spend some time searching the McGill library collections, find out what's happening in your faculty or browse the McGill Archives. You can also refer prospective students to the Gateway where they will find up-to-date information on applying to McGill, on courses, faculty members, programs and scholarships, as well as downloadable application forms. Access the Gateway at Another important address is the site for the Macdonald Branch of the McGill Alumni Association which you will find at

    At Alumni & friends, there is a searchable database for coming events, so you can look for alumni activities by date or location, or simply browse a list of all upcoming events. The listings provide details and contact information and are updated on a regular basis, so don't forget to check the page often for new events.

    We are also planning regular news items, discussion forums, and an online alumni e-mail directory for the very near future. If you would like to be listed in the e-mail directory, please contact us by fax at 514-398-7338 or e-mail and we will let you know how to proceed. (Quebec's privacy laws may require an extra step.)

    Keeping In Touch

    If you're wondering what your classmates are up to, the Alumnotes from McGill News are also online in a fully searchable format: simply type in the name of your classmate, and if they've submitted an alumnote recently you'll see what's new in their lives. You can also submit your own alumnote or a change of address electronically through handy fill-in forms.

    And if you want to contact someone at Development and Alumni Relations, the umbrella area which includes the McGill Alumni Association, there is a staff directory online with names, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses. The directory is searchable by job category as well, so if you're not sure who to contact for a frame for your McGill diploma, for example, simply choose Diploma Framing from the drop-down menu and you'll be given contact information for the person who can help you.

    What You Can Do

    There is also information on how you can support McGill. Alumni are an important resource for the University, and there are a number of ways you can help out, including hiring a McGill student, serving as a mentor, helping with "send-offs" for students coming from your town to study at McGill, volunteering to help with recruiting, participating in a phonathon and more. For details, see the "Volunteering" section of the homepage under "Supporting McGill."

    Branches on the Web

    Some of the Alumni Association branches have started putting up their own homepages on the web with news, coming events and branch contact information. You can locate them through the Alumni & friends homepage.