Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland and Myron Scholes honoured at street naming event

Nobel Laureate and McMaster alum Donna Strickland walks on McMaster main campus

Nobel Laureate and McMaster alum Donna Strickland walks on McMaster's main campus during street naming celebrations.

The names of two roads on McMaster’s campus received an upgrade this week in recognition of Nobel Laureates and McMaster alumni Donna Strickland and Myron Scholes.

On October 4, Donna Strickland, Eng Phys alumna and Nobel laureate, returned to campus to celebrate the naming of Strickland Way. Though Scholes was unable to attend in-person for the celebrations, he shared some pre-recorded video messages during the event.

Strickland Way runs from A.N. Bourns Science Building to the Gerald Hatch Centre and Scholes Way runs from the David Braley Athletic Centre to Togo Salmon Hall. 

Tweet by McMasterU about Donna Strickland Tweet by Susan Tighe, provost, about Donna Strickland

Throughout the day, Strickland connected with McMaster students, faculty, alumni and leaders with intimate chats and Q&A event. 

She began the day in a setting very familiar to her. Eng Phys students gathered around a table in a lab in Burke Science Building, where they asked Strickland questions related to life as a researcher and Nobel Prize winner.  

She imparted wisdom including an important life lesson to communicate effectively with different audiences as a physicist, professor, and scientist.

Tweet by Aj, a student, about meeting Donna Strickland


Donna Strickland sits at a table with her arm raised in exclamation, students around the table smile at her Donna Strickland talks to a few students

Before heading to lunch, Strickland took her first look at the new street signs bearing her name.  

Donna Strickland stands under her street sign, Strickland Way Donna Strickland stands under a sign that reads Strickland Way

Emma Magee, a chemistry student, and a lucky participant of the Faculty’s “Stricktly the Best” Instagram contest, had the opportunity to have a photo taken with Strickland and the new sign, a dream come true for Magee. 

Donna Strickland stands with Emma Magee under the Strickland Way street sign Donna Strickland stands with Emma Magee who is wearing a shirt that says Sticktly the best

Donna Strickland and David Farrar pull off a cloth revealing the Strickland and Scholes Way street signs

Following lunch, more than 100 people filled the Concert Hall in Wilson Hall as Chemical Engineering student, Shayna Earle and recent iBioMed graduate, Mosana Abraha, led a Fireside Q&A Chat with Donna.  

Myron Scholes was also featured on video during the event and he answered questions about his Nobel win and economics research.  

Tweet by McMaster Eng about Myron Scholes


Attendees received a free t-shirt emblazoned with “Sticktly the Best” across the front upon entering the event.   

Donna Strickland stands with Shayna Earle and Mosana Abraha under the Strickland Way and Scholes Way street signs

Questions that were asked were submitted by members of McMaster community and asked live by attendees. Here’s a few highlights:  

Strickland’s top three skills alumni should work on that will excel them in their career are: 

1. Patience
2. Have love for what you do
3. Teamwork 

Donna sits in a chair with Shayna and Mosana on a couch beside her Another angle of Donna, Shayna and Mosana on the stage for the fireside chat

To cap off the day, some of McMaster Engineering’s Schulich leaders were treated to coffee and conversation with Donna.  

Students asked Donna to elaborate on the feelings of imposter syndrome, to which Donna replied: 

“Don’t let it get to your head and don’t let it stop you.” 

Donna Strickland stands with four Schulich Leaders, two on either side of her Donna sits at a table with two students

Donna walks up to her street sign with a big smile on her face

Read more about Strickland’s legacy

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