McGill University Notable Alumni

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McGill University Notable Alumni

McGill University is a public research university. It is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university was founded in 1821. The motto of the university is “Grandescunt Aucta Labore” which means – by work, all things increase and grow. Currently, 40,037 students are a part of this prestigious university including 27,601 undergraduates and 10,144 postgraduates. The university offers around 300 degrees and diplomas in different fields of study. Most of the students are enrolled in five faculties namely Arts, Science, Medicine, Education, Engineering and Management. McGill University is ranked among the top universities around the world by major educational publications and among the top 16 positions by the Maclean’s Canadian University Rankings. 

McGill University Notable Alumni

McGill counts among its alumni and faculty 12 Nobel laureates and 147 Rhodes Scholars. The university’s alumni also include 16 billionaires, the current prime minister and two former prime ministers of Canada, two Governors-General of Canada, 15 justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, at least eight foreign leaders, and more than 100 members of national legislatures. McGill University alumni also include 8 Academy Award winners, 10 Grammy Award winners, at least 13 Emmy Award winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, and 121 Olympians with over 35 Olympic medals. The inventors of the game of basketball, modern organized ice hockey, and the pioneers of gridiron football, as well as the founders of several major universities and colleges are also graduates of McGill University. It’s such a proud thing for McGill University to have all these notable alumni. McGill’s 2,75,000 alumni are using their education and experience to make a difference in the world. Let’s know more about them- 

McGill University Notable Alumni Arts and Media

Television and Radio

  1. Actress Mackenzie Davis, Playing the role of gifted software developer in the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire as well as making an appearance in The Martian, Tully and The Terminator: Dark Fate.
  2. William Shatner,  Bcom’ 52, DLitt’11 known for his role as Captain James t. Kirk in the show Star Trek earned Emmy awards for his portrayal of attorney Denny Crane on the television series ‘The Practice and Boston Legal.   

Media and Gaming

  1. Elizabeth Plank, BA’10, won the award for creating the weekly video series Flip the Script, now being a senior  producer and correspondent at 
  2. One of the creators of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Jade Raymond, is currently vice president at Google.
  3. Alan Emtage, BSc’87,msc’91 created the first internet search which once attracted half of Canada’s half web traffic.


  1. Edward Saxon, BA ‘82, Oscar-winning producer of The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Adaption. 
  2. Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal.
  3. Producing some of Canada’s most critically-acclaimed films like DAVUD Cronenberg’s Crash and Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter.


  1. Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for French fiction for Au péril de la Mer, Dominique Fortier, PhD’03.
  2. David Bezmozgis, BA’ 96, won the Commonwealth First Book Prize for his book Natasha and Other Stories, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Danuta Gleed literary award for the best first collection of short stories in the English language.


  1. Daniel Taylor, a classical music singer is one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world today with more than 60 recordings to his name. 
  2. Darcy James Argue, composer and conductor for an innovative new york blades 18 piece jazz band well known as the secret society.
  3. Christine Jensen, BMus’94, MMus’06, a jazz saxophonist and composer and leader of the Christine Jensen Orchestra.

Also Read: University of Waterloo Notable Alumni

McGill University Notable Alumni in Science

Many of McGill’s alumni have major scientific accomplishments under their name, with a number of noble prize winners included in the list as well. Let’s know more about them.

Nobel Prize Winners 

  1. Co-recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in medicine For his work on visual perception, David Hubel
  2. Answering the centuries-old question on how we navigate the space around us, John O’Keefe was named co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in medicine. 
  3. Rudolph Marcus received the 1992 Nobel Prize for his theory of electron transfer in chemistry.


  • Julie Payette, BEng’86, DSc’03, second Canadian woman to have been in space and first to board an international space station is currently governor-general of Canada. 
  • Worked as an assistant professor in internal combustion engines at the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons, BEng’11. 
  • Engineer and physician Robert Thirsk, MDCM 82 is a former astronaut who holds Canadian records for longest space fight and most time spent in space 

Trail Blazers

  1. Awarded with the 2016 Brain prize, Tim Bliss, BSc’62, PhD’67, a British neuroscientist, conducted research exploring the life-long plasticity of the brain.
  2. Sir William Osler, MDCM1872, LLD1895, is a renowned physician and medical historian. He was one of the first to emphasize the role of teaching in the instruction of medical students as well was appointed as the first physician-in-chief of Johns Hopkins.
  3. Contribution to the development of drugs used in the treatment of HIV and hepatitis B infection, Bernard Belleau was made an officer of the order of Canada.

McGill University Notable Alumni in Public Service 

Canadian Prime Ministers

  1. Former Mayor of Montreal (1887-88) and the third prime minister of Canada (1891-92), Sir John Abbott
  2. Legendary orator and Canada’s seventh Prime Minister (1896-1911) , Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
  3. Justin Trudeau, BA’94 , served Canada as it’s 23rd Prime Minister since 2015

 Political Leaders 

  1. Minister of international development, Karkna Goild, BA ’10.
  2. Minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, David Lametti, BCL ’89, LLB’89.
  3. Catherine Mckenna, LLB’99 is Canada’s minister of infrastructure and communities.
  4. Minister of indigenous services, Marc Miller, BCL’01, LLB’01

Judges and Public Servants 

  1. Nicholas Kasirer, BCL ’85, LLB’85 was appointed to the supreme court in 2019 and Sheilah Martin in 2017.
  2. In 2019 appointed as a librarian and archivist of Canada, Lesley Weir, MLS ’79.

Activists and advocates

The founding CEO and president of Nike Foundation, Maria Eitel, BA ’84 is the driving force behind the initiative aimed at improving the lives of girls who live in poverty. 

Madeleine Parent, a pioneering social activist, BA ’40, LLD’02, a founding member of the National action committee played a very vital role in textile strikes in 1940s Quebec and also in establishing Canadian unions. 

University Presidents 

  1. President of the University of Windsor, Rob Gordon, BEng’82 
  2. President of Laurentian University- Robert Haché, BSc’81 
  3. President of the University of British Columbia as well as a medical researcher focusing on the immune system and eye disease- Santa Ono, PhD’91. Also served as president of the University of Cincinnati (2012-16)
  4. Marc Tessier-lavigne, a neuroscientist and the president of Stanford University 

McGill University Notable Alumni in Business and Industry

  1. CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)- Philippe Arrata, BCom’97 
  2. President and CEO at Bombardier Inc.- Alain Bellemare, MBA’93
  3. Executive Chairman and founder of the Aldo Group- Aldo Bensadoun, BCom’64, LLD’12 
  4. Chairman of the Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the largest spirits companies in the world – George Garvin Brown, BA’91
  5. CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, one of the world’s largest online gaming companies- Mitch Garber, BA’86.

McGill University Notable Alumni in Sports 

  1. A member of the exclusive Triple Gold Club, Mike Babcock, BEd’86, winning Olympic gold, the Stanley Cup and the World Championship.
  2. Playing the position of a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, Ken Dryden, LLB ’73 won six Stanley cups in just eight seasons.
  3. Samantha Rapaport, BEd’04 is NFL’s senior director for football development.

Are you planning to study at McGill University but not sure where to start from? Call our  Leverage Edu experts at 1800 572 000 for end-to-end guidance from application to Visa process.

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