Donation boosts multimedia program, computing centre


Neil McArthur is a man of practical thinking. Inspired by his love of science and technology, he supports engineering bursaries. So it took some persuasion on behalf of his wife, Anne, and long-time friend and McMaster graduate, Maxine Hartley, to donate to the humanities.

It was his wife's vision to have faculty, staff, alumni and students be able to communicate better, so the McArthur's first donation, matched by the provincial government's Access to Opportunities Program, went to providing the humanities with a computer server.

“When Dean (of Humanities Daniel) Woolf explained to me that 98 per cent of humanities graduates find employment, that was enough recommendation for me,” says McArthur.

So the next donation went to the Faculty's new 4,000-sq. ft. multimedia wing scheduled for completion this fall.

Nancy Alexanian, humanities advancement officer, says that McArthur's donation sets a positive example. “Here is a man who was devoted to engineering, bringing something to arts. If he can do it, others can.”

The multimedia wing is the first major building project in the Faculty of Humanities since the 1970s. The facility will be constructed on the second floor of Togo Salmon Hall (above the offices of the School of Graduate Studies) and will be built as an extension to the Humanities Computing Centre.

The new wing will enable the Faculty to meet the needs of the new and popular multimedia program as well as an anticipated increase in University students over the next few years. The gift will provide the Faculty with a much-needed, up-to-date, open-concept lab which will be similar to that increasingly being employed in today's workplace.

“The extraordinary generosity of the McArthurs in supporting our program through this pledge will make this building possible, and ensure that McMaster keeps its leading position as an integrator of traditional humanities,” says Daniel Woolf.