Paul MacPherson has been a valued friend and donor to McMaster University for nearly 30 years. In 1988, he established the Paul R. MacPherson Bursary, which is awarded to students demonstrating financial need, with a preference given to students from Mr. MacPherson’s high school in Bracebridge, Ontario. To date, the Paul R. MacPherson Bursary Fund ranks as one of McMaster’s largest bursary funds and has supported over 500 students.
At the time of Mr. MacPherson’s high school graduation, McMaster offered a “preliminary year” that allowed Mr. MacPherson to earn the credits he needed to attain a university education.
After graduating with a BA from the Faculty of Social Sciences in 1957, he worked as a sales representative for Imperial Oil Limited in Toronto. He decided that an MBA was important for “getting ahead” in business and went on to earn one from the University of Western Ontario (now known as Western University) in 1963. Mr. MacPherson often credits his post-secondary education from McMaster and Western with providing him with the skills and opportunity to succeed in a distinguished career as both a businessman and a professor.
Mr. MacPherson was inducted into McMaster’s Alumni Gallery in 2004 and he received an honorary degree (LL.D.) in 2010 recognizing his business accomplishments and commitment to his alma mater.
In 2016, Mr. MacPherson generously donated $5 million to invest in the development of great teachers at McMaster. The gift, which is fully endowed, provides significant opportunities to develop and enhance student-centred teaching and learning practices that draw directly on the standing of McMaster as one of the world’s leading research universities. In recognition of this gift, the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL) was renamed the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching.