McMaster University is a medium-sized research-intensive university located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with an enrollment of approximately 19,113 full-time undergraduate students and 2,739 postgraduate students (preliminary numbers for 2007-08).
McMaster, or 'Mac', comprises six faculties: Science, Health Sciences, Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business. The campus is located on 300 acres (1.2 km²) of land in the residential neighbourhood of Westdale adjacent to Hamilton's Royal Botanical Gardens. McMaster ranks as the 87th university worldwide and the 4th in Canada (2nd in the Province of Ontario) in the 2007 Academic Ranking of World Universities and is placed 100th university worldwide in the 2007 Times Higher Education Supplement rankings. It received an 'A-' grade in the Globe and Mail University Report Card for overall quality of education.
McMaster University of Hamilton, Ontario was founded in 1887 through a merger of Toronto Baptist College and Woodstock College (a Baptist preparatory school).
Senator William McMaster, the first president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, founded the university bearing his name in 1887. It was sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec as a sectarian undergraduate institution for its clergy and adherents. It began operating three years later, and graduated its first students in 1894.
The first degrees were awarded in 1894. Local boosters in Hamilton offered large donations of money and land to McMaster to relocate rather than federate, and the move was accomplished in 1930. Originally situated in Toronto, the university was relocated in Hamilton in 1930.
University Hall, one of the original campus buildings, houses a bust of Senator McMaster. McMaster Hall, the original Toronto building, located at the northern part of the University of Toronto St. George campus on Bloor Street West, now houses the Royal Conservatory of Music.
During and immediately after the Second World War, McMaster experienced an explosion of growth in scientific research and student enrollment under H.G. Thode. This placed a strain on the finances of what was still a denominational Baptist institution. Consequently, in 1957, the McMaster Divinity College was incorporated to continue the university's religious traditions, while the university itself became a secular public institution. McMaster University became a private non-denominational institution in 1957.
The buildings and facilities represent the ongoing development that has been happening on McMaster grounds since it purchased the property from the city of Hamilton in 1928. Its six original gothic-style buildings are now flanked by over 50 structures built predominantly during booms in the early 1970s and the late 1990s to present.
Perhaps the most distinctive component of the campus skyline is that of the McMaster University Medical Centre, a multi-use research hospital that ranks among the largest public buildings in Canada. It is connected to the Life Sciences building and the recently completed (2004) Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery which houses many well-funded research groups in areas of genetics, infectious diseases and several specific conditions.
The McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR) completed in 1959 was the first university-based research reactor in the Commonwealth of Nations and today is the only Canadian medium flux reactor in a university environment. It is a "pool-type" reactor with a core of enriched uranium fuel moderated and cooled by light water. The MNR, provides wide range of irradiation, laboratory and holding facilities which include: A cyclotron, an accelerator, a small-angle neutron-scattering detector and wide-angle neutron scattering facilities.
Recently, McMaster has begun spreading physically beyond its inflexible West Hamilton borders into other areas in the region.
In 2002 the McMaster's Centre for Continuing Education was relocated to the former Hamilton-Wentworth courthouse building on Main Street East. The CCE offers a variety of certificate/diploma programs as well as personal/professional development programs and strives to uphold McMaster's tradition of inspiring leadership and discovery.
In 2004 McMaster University announced that in partnership with the neighbouring city of Burlington, it would be constructing a new arts & technology intensive campus in that city. Plans call for a small initial cohort to be admitted in 2007 in leased space and the University hopes to have an enrolment at the Burlington campus of nearly 5000 students by 2020. The Burlington campus concept is contingent on provincial government approval, not yet sought, of the academic programmes and the necessary funding.
The proposed campus has proven controversial and the plan has been opposed by many deans and other faculty members. The McMaster Students Union has serious reservations with the project and may openly oppose the project dependent upon either a fall vote in the student representative assembly or a general referendum.
The new McMaster Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine would be expanded and constructed in Kitchener, Ontario, sharing the health science campus with the University of Waterloo. The other expansion of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is in the Niagara region of the Golden Horseshoe.
Announced in 2005, McMaster has purchased a large industrial park three kilometres east of its main Hamilton campus that will be redeveloped to contain an array of research facilities for the development of advanced manufacturing and materials, biotechnology, automotive and nanotechnology. In July 2005 it was announced that CANMET, a federal government materials research laboratory, would be relocated from its Ottawa centre to Hamilton, helping spear-head the development of the McMaster research park.
A predicted $60 million in partner funding is expected to establish the new laboratory by 2008.
McMaster earned the designation of research university of the Year in 2004 based on its ability to attract and capitalize on its research income. Its research activities exceed those of universities twice its size and no Canadian university receives a higher proportion of research funding relative to its operating budget than McMaster.
In 2006, McMaster was ranked first by research intensity of $308,300 CAD per full time faculty.
Engineering students can choose to specialize in the following disciplines: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering. McMaster launched Canada's first school of computational engineering and science in 2005 dedicated in developing expertise in the third wave of scientific research involving stimulation, modeling and optimization. The new school brings together 50 faculty from engineering, science, business and health science to collaboratively conduct research and advance education.
The university's health sciences reputation started with the foundation of its medical school – with non-traditional small-group problem-based learning tutorials since adopted by other programs – in the 1960s. However, it quickly grew with programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, midwifery, and other allied fields. A portion of Albert Einstein's brain is preserved and held for medical research at the McMaster brain bank. Researchers there have identified differences in his brain that may relate to his genius for spatial and mathematical thinking.
McMaster has had a nuclear reactor (MNR) since 1959 for nuclear science and engineering research. The strength of nuclear science at McMaster under the presidency of Dr. H.G. Thode, was augmented in 1968 by the construction of a 10MV Model FN Tandem particle accelerator. Along with this was added the 3MV Model KN single-ended accelerator in the same year. Being primarily, in the early days, a nuclear structure laboratory, the academic direction of the laboratory fell to the Physics Department. During the next 28 years, the nuclear research effort was tremendous with hundreds of graduate students trained and many publications generated.
McMaster is the only medical doctoral university in Canada to offer Nuclear Engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
In addition, McMaster's DeGroote School of Business has gathered both national and worldwide recognition as it was accredited by the AACSB in 2006. Less than 10 percent of business schools worldwide have earned this accreditation.
The DeGroote School of Business also houses the Allen H. Gould Trading Floor, a state-of-the-art educational tool that enables students to experience the relationships and interactions of the financial markets. It is one of the first such facilities in North America, and one of only 30 in the world.
A recent $105 million CAD donation was given to McMaster's medical program from billionaire Michael G. DeGroote. It is the largest single cash gift in Canadian history and will be used to upgrade the current medical school, called the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. He is also a benefactor to McMaster's business school the DeGroote School of Business.
The McMaster Arts and Science is an exclusive program at McMaster, admitting only 60 first year students per year, with a total size of about 250.
McMaster University is affiliated with eight teaching hospitals. Five of them compose the Hamilton Health Sciences.
The Mauraders have an extensive track record in both the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) leagues spanning several decades. More recently, the team has shown itself as one of the strongest in Canada, earning four consecutive Yates Cup victories (2000-2003), led by coach Greg Marshall. Several athletes have been scouted from the McMaster fields to play for the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Alumnus Jesse Lumsden was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks in 2005, but was released shortly thereafter. Following his release he had a short tenure with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In January 2006, he was signed to play for the Washington Redskins and was later released only to play with the Tiger-Cats once again.
Men's football at McMaster is one of the school's most popular spectator sports, supported extensively by students, faculty and McMaster president Peter J. George. The team formerly played its home games on Les Prince Field located on campus. However, this field was torn up for the development of the Athletic Complex, which included renovations to the Ivor Wynne Centre, and the additions of the David Braley Athletic Centre and the Ronald V. Joyce Stadium on the site of the former field. As of October 2006, construction on the two new structures is continuing, although some facilities in the Braley Centre are already open for use. Until the new stadium is completed, home games are played at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
The McMaster rugby team won gold in the OUA championship over Western in 2006.
Intramural sports are widely participated in at Ivor Wynne Centre as well. Unorganized sports such as ad hoc cricket games are often found in front of the science and engineering buildings.
In January 2006, Stefan Ptaszek was named as the new football head coach.
Note: Dr. Norman Lane a McMaster Professor of Mathematics competed in two Olympic Games (Canoe 1948 - London, 1952 - Helsinki**)
In 2004, McMaster Kinesiology student Adam van Koeverden captured a bronze medal in the Men's K1, 1000 metre single kayak and gold medal in the kayak singles 500 metre at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He won a bronze medal in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He also won a silver medal in K1, 1000 metre at the World Championships in Gainesville, U.S. in September 2003.
McMaster is home to two of the semi-professional acting companies in Ontario at the university level. The McMaster Thespian Company, started in 2003, and McMaster Musical Theatre, started in the 1960s, present productions annually involving student volunteer actors, musicians and crew. Their information can be found at their respective websites.
These groups, as well as the students in McMaster's Theatre and Film program, usually perform in the Robinson Memorial Theatre in Chester New Hall.
Since 1990, McMaster has also hosted the McMaster Summer Drama Festival, a collection of plays directed and performed by students and local community members.
Full-time undergraduate students belong to the McMaster Students Union, which operates a pub called Quarters, and publishes a broadsheet newspaper called The Silhouette. It also funds scores of other clubs, associations and societies organized by academic department, ethnic origin or extracurricular interest. Part of a larger body of environmental groups on campus, McMaster is one of only two universities in Canada that has a bicycle cooperative. Other student groups on campus include the McMaster Association of Part-time Students, the Graduate Students Association, and MacInsiders, an online student-run organization highlighting student life on campus.
McMaster's Student Centre contains the Iron Ring Clock, designed and built by four Mechanical Engineering students as their final-year thesis project in 2003. Money for the clock was donated from a variety of local citizens and businesses. The clock contains what is believed to be the largest iron ring in the world as in integral part of the mechanism. The clock is located over the North entrance to the Student Centre, against a bank of windows which provide backlighting to the stained-glass University crest, the centrepiece of the clock.
Quarters is the first student-run on-campus nightclub. On Thursday and Saturday nights it can command long lineups as those are "party" nights at Mac. Quarters' predecessors were The Rathskeller ('The Rat') and The Downstairs John ('The John'), both of which existed for decades prior to their closure in the early 2000s. The space formerly occupied by the Rat is a vegetarian restaurant; the space formerly occupied by the John is a daycare. Other than Quarters, the only on-campus drinking establishment is The Phoenix, run by the graduate students association.
In response to increasing number of students enrolling at MAC new residences are being constructed. The newest residence to be built is Les Prince Hall, just north of Hedden Hall. It is a large co-ed building completed in 2006. Prince was a long-serving hall master in the residence system, living with his family on campus until after his retirement in 1980.
Building choices include the traditional room and board style, furnished apartment style and suite-style.
Alexander McKay is also the Honorary President of the Ontario Classics Association.
The McMaster Residence System is composed of CAs (community advisors) who provide guidance and help the transition to university life for many first year students. CAs are highly trained Housing and Conference service employees and enforce policies which the university has put in place. CAs also provide programs for students that touch on one or more of its four pillars approach: Academic, Awareness, Social, and Wellness. Residence Students are represented by the IRC (Inter Residence Council) Each building has 2 reps which program entertaining activities for students, facilitate social interaction, and represent student opinion to the upper administration.
From 1888 to 1949, the head of McMaster was given the title Chancellor.
In 1949, George P. Gilmour became both President and Chancellor, and in 1950 his title changed to President and Vice-Chancellor. From that time onward, the University had both a Chancellor as well as a President and Vice-Chancellor.
(*)In the interval between the retirement of Chancellor MacVicar and the appointment of Chancellor Rand, the Faculties of Art and Theology were organized under the Chairmanship of Dr. Rand and Dr. Goodspeed, respectively.