Why McCall MacBain Scholarships?

We believe in investing in students’ potential to build sustainable, compassionate and healthier communities for all. We believe that better access to well-rounded graduate education will foster real capacities to better the lives of others and the drive to pursue achievements that are also beneficial for society. We believe that our next generations of leaders need tools, training, national and international networks and mentorship – both in and outside the classroom – to actualize their commitment to tackling complex problems and improving the welfare of others throughout their lives.


The McCall MacBain Scholarships were announced in February 2019 in celebration of McGill University’s bicentennial. In initiating them, John and Marcy McCall MacBain and their Foundation recognized an important gap in the Canadian higher education landscape: that there was no comprehensive, leadership-driven scholarship in the country for master’s and professional degree students.

The scholarships represent an investment in students who are already developing expertise in their respective fields but also have a track record of taking initiative and collaborating with others to understand and address important problems and challenges. Ultimately, the mission of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill is to build a community of formidable leaders and creative professionals dedicated to advancing global understanding and improving human welfare throughout the world.

Founders’ Story

John and Marcy McCall MacBain’s vision for the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill is rooted in a belief that an outstanding, well-rounded education can lay a foundation that supports lifelong success and community engagement. As graduates of the Canadian publicly-funded education system, John and Marcy know first-hand how public universities like McGill can reduce social barriers and foster talent at the highest levels.

Based on John and Marcy’s work over the years through the Foundation with some of the top scholarships in Canada and around the world, such as the Rhodes Scholarships in Oxford, the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships in Cape Town, and the Kupe Scholarships in New Zealand which they helped create, they felt it was crucial that Canada have a comprehensive scholarship at this level – one that builds on but is not limited to academic excellence. Through these McCall MacBain Scholarships, they hope to bring together a resilient community of students dedicated to solving pressing global issues and complex problems, to ultimately improve the lives of others.

“As we develop these scholarships and support our scholars, we are looking forward to welcoming promising leaders with entrepreneurial spirit, who foster opportunities not only for themselves – but for those living in the world around them.”

 – Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain

Board Members

John McCall MacBain


Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, John McCall MacBain attended McGill University on scholarship to study Economics, graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. During his time at McGill, he was deeply involved in student life, including serving as President of the Students Society. In his final year he was named Valedictorian. Mr. McCall MacBain subsequently obtained a law degree from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, followed by an MBA from Harvard Business School, before launching a successful entrepreneurial career as founder and controlling shareholder of Trader Classified Media.

Starting with his purchase of three small publications in Montréal, Canada in 1987 at 29 years old, Mr. McCall MacBain grew the Trader Classified Media, Auto Trader and Buy and Sell businesses worldwide with over 350 print titles and 50 internet sites in 23 countries, including France, Canada, China, Argentina, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Italy and Spain. In the fall of 2006, he successfully sold Trader Classified Media and with the proceeds of the sale co-founded with his wife Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain the McCall MacBain Foundation and its investment arm, Pamoja Capital SA. Through Pamoja Capital, Mr. McCall MacBain is now the largest investor in student housing management in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to serving as Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation, Mr. McCall MacBain has been active in many philanthropic activities, including serving as Chair of the McGill Principal’s International Advisory Board, and as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in Cape Town. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, a Foundation Fellow of Wadham College Oxford and is the Founding Chair of the European Climate Foundation. For his achievements as a business leader and for his contributions to academic institutions as a philanthropist, Mr. McCall MacBain was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2016. He is also the recipient of several honorary degrees including an honourary doctorate from McGill.

Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain


Born and raised in rural Ontario, Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain holds an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University and a Master of Science in International Health Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a DPhil in Evidence-Based Health Care from the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research focused on evidence-based medicine databases, looking at how to improve the research methodology of complex interventions such as yoga for improving a patient’s quality of life in adult cancer.

In her current role as an academic, Dr. McCall MacBain supervises students in the MSc of Evidence-based Health Care program and is developing educational tools to encourage the uptake of evidence-based practice through research and teaching initiatives with the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and the Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford.

In addition to serving as Vice-Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation, Dr. McCall MacBain is a member of the Geneva Committee of Human Rights Watch and is a board member of B2Ten, an organization focused on promoting sport excellence in Canadian Olympic athletes and improved physical literacy in youth.

Dr. McCall MacBain is a recipient of the Bynum Tudor Fellowship at Kellogg College Oxford and the McMaster Alumni Gallery Award. She holds an honorary doctorate from Monash University in Melbourne.

Franca Gucciardi


Franca Gucciardi is the President of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill and the Chief Executive Officer of the McCall MacBain Foundation. Prior to this, she served as CEO of the Loran Scholars Foundation for 13 years. She was also the Founding Director of Canada’s Millennium Excellence Awards and is recognized as a global expert on merit scholarships.

Ms. Gucciardi grew up in Sicily and immigrated to Canada at the age of 11 to the Jane and Finch neighbourhood of Toronto, where she attended C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute. In her graduating year, Ms. Gucciardi was encouraged by her guidance counsellor to apply for the newly inaugurated Loran Award, becoming its first recipient in 1990. This enabled her to become the first person in her family to graduate from university, where she studied Political Science and French. After graduating with a BA from Waterloo, Ms. Gucciardi earned a MA in International Relations from Carleton University. She began her career learning the fundraising ropes at Brampton Caledon Community Living, a non-profit organization that helps people with developmental disabilities lead enriched and meaningful lives.

Ms. Gucciardi serves as a National Co-Chair of the Loran Scholars Foundation, is a Board Director of Enactus, and sits on advisory councils for the University of Waterloo, Western University and the University of Guelph. She is a Fellow of the International Women’s Forum and holds a C.Dir, Governance, from The Directors College.

Suzanne Fortier

Board Director; Principal & Vice-Chancellor,
McGill University

Suzanne Fortier has served as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University since September 2013. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Professor Fortier was President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) from 2006 to 2013. She held the position of Vice-Principal (Academic) from 2000 to 2005 and Vice-Principal (Research) from 1995 to 2000 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she was a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and in the School of Computing (1982-2006). A native of St-Timothée, Québec, Professor Fortier graduated from McGill with a BSc (1972) and a PhD in Crystallography (1976).

In 2016 Professor Fortier was appointed to the Canadian Federal Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth and in 2017 was appointed Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum (GULF). She also serves on the Canadian Business-Higher Education Roundtable, the Board of Directors of Montreal International, the Conference Board of Canada, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board. She is a Member of the Executive of the Board of Directors of the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI) and is an Academic Member of the Board of Governors of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

Professor Fortier was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2018. She holds honorary doctorates from Thompson Rivers University, Carleton University, and the University of Glasgow and is an officer of France’s National Order of Merit, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was named a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2015).

Robert Fetherstonhaugh

Secretary & Treasurer

Robert Fetherstonhaugh is a Director of the McCall MacBain Foundation. He is President and Chief Operating Officer of Belvoir Investments Corporation and was previously Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer for a prominent silicon valley family. He was also instrumental in helping set philanthropic strategies for this group. Previously, Mr. Fetherstonhaugh served as President of Claridge Inc., where he developed investment strategies and set up the Claridge Food Group. Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chairman and Corporate Secretary for Trader Classified Media in Paris and had served as a Partner at KPMG. Mr. Fetherstonhaugh holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill and is a Chartered Accountant.

Mr. Fetherstonhaugh currently serves on the Desautels International Advisory Board at McGill University and is a board director of the McConnell Foundation, the Nunavut Trust Fund and the Environmental Working Group based in D.C. and San Francisco. He is a Founding Board Member of AppDirect, a cloud solution provider in San Francisco. In 2002, Mr. Fetherstonhaugh created “Canada Cycles for Kids” with friend Marc Balevi while they cycled across Canada to raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Marc Weinstein

Board Director; Vice-Principal of University Advancement, McGill

Marc Weinstein has served as Vice-Principal of University Advancement at McGill since 2008. He previously served as Vice-President and General Counsel of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation in Montréal and worked as an attorney at Borden Ladner Gervais.

A native Montréaler, Marc holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill, a Master of Arts degree from York University in Toronto and both Civil Law (BCL) and Common Law (LLB) degrees from McGill. He is a member of the Quebec Bar and a former member of the Board of Directors of the MUHC Foundation.

Marc is a member of the Conference Board of Canada’s National Council of Foundation Executives (NCOFE) and has served in numerous roles on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In 2014, Marc received the Outstanding Philanthropic Career Award from the Quebec Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), representing more than 240 professionals from more than 160 organizations throughout the province. In 2017, Marc was recognized by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education with the Outstanding Achievement Award for extraordinary contributions to the field of educational advancement, exemplifying the highest ideals of the advancement profession and dedicated mentoring of others in the field.

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