Graduate Organizations


In 1889 the first eight women to earn degrees at McGill formed the Mu Teta Society and in 1890 the name was changed to the Alumnae Society of McGill University. The Society's original intention was to maintain close contact between former classmates and to provide assistance to McGill women students. Its objectives have expanded to include educational and social service activities for the Montreal community. The Alumnae Society has continued to accomplish these objectives through the work of its various committees which have given support to special projects at times, such as the University Settlement, the Montreal Children's Library and the St. Anne's Military Hospital Library. Throughout the Society's life, it has maintained close connections with Royal Victoria College and is affiliated with the Canadian Federation of University Women and with the local Montreal Council of Women. Today, the Alumnae Society forms the largest branch and club of the Graduates' Society.


Minute Books, 1901-1969, 50 cm (c.4, c.26, c.88)

There are three series of minute books: the Alumnae Society, 1901-1943, 1958-1967; the Executive Committee, 1921-1931, 1933-1949; and the Board of Directors, 1949-1969.

General Administrative Records, 1895-1974, 3 m (c.1-c.8, c.88)

The records fall into five main sub.series: legal, administrative, activities, correspondence and materials relating to the Canadian Federation of University Women and the local Montreal Council of Women. The legal records include the Society's constitution and by-laws, as well as papers concerning its incorporation, 1926-1967. The administrative series, which constitutes the greater portion of the collection, contains annual reports, agendas and minutes of meetings, financial statements and budgets, and membership lists, 1900-1973. The activities' series includes materials which reflect the committee work of the Alumnae, such as reunions and anniversaries, reports and speeches, as well as activity programmes, and represents a sizeable proportion of the collection, 1895-1974. Both incoming and outgoing correspondence 1900-1973, dealing mostly with administrative matters, is present in the collection. Reports and meetings of the Canadian Federation of University Women and the local Montreal Council of Women are also included in this collection, 1923-1973. The greater portion of this material is post-1920. A finding aid is available.

McGill Women Graduates' Society, Vancouver, 1926-1956, 6 cm (c.9)

Included are minutes of meetings, annual reports and correspondence.


Incorporated in 1880, the Graduates' Society grew out of a literary society formed in 1857. It represents past students and holders of degrees and diplomas from McGill. Since 1980, five representatives of this Society are elected to the Board of Governors. The Graduates' Society organizes class reunions and similar events, publishes the McGill News and operates the Alma Mater Fund under the direction of the McGill Fund Office. The branches of the Society are: the Young Alumni, the McGill Society of Montreal, the Alumnae Society of McGill University, and the Macdonald Branch of the Graduates' Society. There are many regional branches of the Graduates' Society in various cities of the world. Scrapbooks assembled by Lorne Gales of the Graduates' Society about the revue My Fur Lady will be found with Red and White Revue in R.G. 75. The Society was originally responsible for much of the University's fund raising and records of various campaigns are included here. Fund raising is now the responsibility of the Development Office, R.G. 17. Other fund raising records will be found in R.G. 83: Project and Occasional Offices and the John W. Ross Papers, M.G. 4068. A paper on the origins of the Graduates' Society by Faith Wallis is in the Archives office Information Files (99-1 GSM).


Act of Incorporation and By-laws, Graduates' Society, 1895, 4 cm (Printed Collection)

Minutes of Meetings, 1870-1978, 1 m (c.9-c.16, c.28)

Minutes were kept by various bodies of the Society. There is a minute book of the Graduates' Society's predecessor, the University Society, 1870-1901 as well as minutes of the Graduates' Society, 1896-ca 1970 (gaps). Intermixed are the minutes of the annual meetings and those of the Executive Committee. The minutes record the names of members present, finances, by-laws, activities, policies and recommendations on such subjects as military training, and the administration of a library fund. Minutes of various committees were also maintained, sometimes separately, sometimes intermixed. These include the Endowment Fund Committee, 1922-1959; the Gymnasium Committee, 1931-1935; the Reunion Committee, 1920s; and the Executive Committee, 1966-1975. Partially listed.

General Administrative Records, ca 1853-1980, 2 m (c.9, c.15-c.17, c.20-c.22, c.25, c.27-c.28)

A large portion of the records are those of the chief officer of the Graduates' Society Lorne Gales who was the Director of both the Graduates' Society and the McGill Fund Council as well as other fund raising drives in the 1960s and 1970s. There is some intermixture of records reflecting Gales' dual activities. There is correspondence with graduates, local branches of the Society, McGill departments, and external organizations about fund-raising, reunions, budgets, scholarships, publicity, and other activities, ca 1935-1975. Other records, include annual reports, minutes, correspondence, and financial records assembled by the Secretary and Treasurer of the Society, a record of income and expenses, 1917-1922, and a membership roll, 1914-1917 (c.15).

Partially listed.

Records of Reunions and Special Events, 1921-1973, 20 cm (c.9, c.24)

A scrapbook documents the Graduates' celebration of the University's centennial, 1921 and there are a few announcements and programmes related to events sponsored by the Society. The bulk of the material on reunions, and similar events, however, will be found among the general records of the Directors.

War Memorial Records, 1945-1950, 2 cm (c.9)

In addition to a list of McGill men killed on active service 1939-1945, there is a file of memoranda related to the planning of an addition to the University gymnasium as a war memorial.

Scrapbooks and Clippings, 1933-1964, (c.18-c.19, c.23)

There are four scrapbooks: 1933-1951, 1945-1957, 1946-1949, 1947-1948, and a box of newspaper clippings, 1964 about McGill University and McGill graduates. One scrapbook concerns the War Memorial (c.19).


Office of Executive Director, Graduates' Society, ca 1950-ca 1970, 11 m (c.29-34, c.35, c.59-c.50, c.57-c.83)

This series consists chiefly of the correspondence of C.T. Medlar, Secretary to the McGill Fund Raising Committee, 1953-1960, and of Lorne Gales, Executive Director of the Graduates' Society 1948-1960, 1964-1973. Most of the correspondence concerns fund raising for such annual campaigns as the Alma Mater Fund, although there are also files on class reunions, internal memoranda to McGill departments, minutes of meeting of the Board of Directors of the Graduates' Society and minutes of Annual Meetings of the Graduates' Society. The fund raising records include copies of correspondence to both donors and prospective donors from the Chancellor and the Principal. There is a large amount of correspondence with local branches of the Graduates' Society and with individual and corporate donors. Arranged by subject or name, the order is not strictly alphabetical. Listed.

Centennial Endowment, 1920-1943, 1.5 m (c.40-c.43, c.45-c.48, c.51-c.56, c.86)

This series includes correspondence of the Secretary and of the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Graduates' Society with prospective donors, companies, graduates, and with campaign workers. There are also lists of campaign workers, memoranda about sums received, lists of subscribers, a ledger of campaign expenses, three cash books giving names and addresses of donors, amounts pledged and paid (c.43), and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, 1920-1926 (c.55). Most of the records cover ca 1920-1925, and are arranged alphabetically.

Graduates' Endowment Fund, 1923-1931, 3 vols (c.137)

Three volumes of day books contain subscription entries and other financial information. The funds were raised through the Graduates' Society. Listed.

Gymnasium Armoury Fund Campaign, 1936-1948, approx. 30 cm (c.17)

Correspondence of the Graduates' Society with contributors in Canada and the United States. Arranged alphabetically by area and listed.

War Memorial Fund, 1945-1948, approx. 2 m (c.35-c.39)

This fund was coordinated through the Graduates' Society. The records include reports, minutes of meetings of the fund raising committee, estimates, financial statements, canvasser's kit and correspondence arranged geographically. There is some correspondence raised by the President of the Graduates' Society.


McGill Fund Campaign, 1948-1962, 30 cm (c.36)

Correspondence, canvassing lists, minutes of canvassers' meetings and of the 1956 Fund Management Committee created by J.A. Fuller of the Board of Governors. Most of the records date from 1956-1957. Listed.

Publications, 1900- (Printed Collection)

Brochures describing the goals of various fund raising programmes.


The Director of Public Relations, Graduates' Society, was the forerunner of the McGill Public Relations Office (see R.G. 49). From 1956 to 1963 the Editor of the McGill News, A.A. Tunis was also Director of Public Relations.

General Administrative REcords, 1959-1963, 2.5 cm (c.86)

These contain correspondence, press releases, programmes and some biographical notes on graduates. Listed.

McGILL NEWS, 1902-1963

Published by the Graduates' Society, the McGill News generally has appeared four times a year. Besides reports of campus activities and news items about graduates and McGill staff members, it often contains articles of general interest on a variety of subjects.

Administrative Records, 1902-1963, 50 cm (c.85-c.86)

These include the minutes of the Editorial Board, 1957-1963, correspondence, press releases, information files and sundry reports and items for publication. Listed.

The McGill News, 1919-Date, 75 cm (Printed Collection)

Published by the Graduates' Society, the McGill News contains articles on subjects of general and McGill interest and news of campus events and graduates' activities. Copies are in the Reading room. There are also newsclippings prepared for use by the McGill News in 1964 (c.23). Many original photographs published in the McGill News have been integrated to the Photograph Inventory. The McGill News is indexed by author and subject.


Records of Local Branches, 1890-1975, 20 cm (c.22, c.26)

The small series of local branch records include the treasurer's ledger book for the McGill Graduate Society of British Columbia, 1911; a microfilm copy of the minutes of meetings of the Victoria and District branch, 1920-1972; and minutes and records of the Ottawa Valley Graduate Society, 1890-1939.


The association was formed in 1962 and appears to have been inactive since about 1975.

Administrative Records, 1962-1974, 6 cm (c.9)

The records include by-laws, agenda and minutes of meetings.


This club appears to have functioned between 1935 and 1946.

Administrative Records, 1935-1946, 3 cm (c.17)

The records contain minutes of meetings and annual reports.