Donald A. Smith: major philanthropist and Chancellor

Donald A. Smith (later 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal) was one of the greatest philanthropists of his era and was especially generous toward McGill, funding its first classes for women with gifts of in 1884 and in 1886.

Several years later, he funded the construction of McGill’s Royal Victoria College and later provided an endowment in its support.

Smith was also a major donor to the Faculty of Medicine, became a trustee of McGill, and was elected Chancellor in 1888, succeeding Ferrier. In this role, he recruited William Peterson as Principal.