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Earl Zukerman

MONTREAL — McGill University is pleased to announce that entrepreneur Robert B. Winsor, BEng’62, and his wife Susan have pledged $1.5 million to support the Redmen football program.

The gift, the largest ever to any McGill varsity sports team, will establish the new Bob and Sue Winsor Redmen Football Program Endowment. The funds, which will be invested by the University to create an income stream in perpetuity, will support coaching, player recruitment and program development.

“Bob and Sue Winsor have been incredibly supportive of McGill Athletics and our football program for many years,” said Drew Love, executive director of McGill Athletics and Recreation. “Gifts of this nature are important as they reinforce our commitment to excellence and enhance the overall experience of our student-athletes.”

Winsor, a native of Montreal, is owner, chairman and CEO of Holden America Inc. and its related firms, which are engaged in the railway equipment business. As a student in the 1960s he played varsity football for the Redmen, both as a defensive halfback and offensive end, and helped the team win the Yates Cup league championship in 1960. He credits his experience in university sports for providing him with the confidence, character and discipline to succeed in business.

“I am very fortunate to have had the privilege to play for the McGill Redmen and particularly in 1960 and ’61,” he said. “These outstanding teams were peopled with the finest group of men I have ever met. It is my belief that McGill, as part of its recognized leadership role, needs to offer the opportunity for student-athletes to compete on top-tier competitive teams. We see our gift as an opportunity to make a solid investment to this end for the varsity football program at McGill.”

Winsor, who has given back to McGill for more than 45 years, is a long-time volunteer, having served as a governor of the University, a member of both the Athletics Board and Alumni Association. He continues to serve as a trustee of the Martlet Foundation and as a member of both the Sports Hall of Fame Committee and the Athletics and Recreation Advisory Board.

He was also instrumental in the creation of the Friends of McGill Football, an alumni support group that helps stimulate the program’s interests through fundraising. He made substantial donations to establish the Winsor Varsity Clinics in both the Currie Gymnasium and McConnell Arena, which provide medical and therapy services to student-athletes.

“We are deeply grateful to Bob and Sue Winsor for their extraordinary support,” said Marc Weinstein, Vice-Principal (Development and Alumni Relations). “Through their generous philanthropy, they are helping secure a quality future for the football program. I can’t stress enough how important donations like this are to McGill Athletics and Recreation, which is a central component of student life at the University.”

“This donation will help us regain our footing in Quebec university football and set us on par with other coaching staffs across the CIS,” said Clint Uttley, a 38-year-old native of Orillia, Ont., who was officially appointed head coach of the Redmen two weeks ago but has been part of the coaching staff since 2008. “We view this as an investment in the future of the program and are thankful for the opportunities this donation will provide.”

The McGill football team dates back over a century and played Harvard in the first game of North American style football in 1874.

Campaign McGill: History in the Making is raising the funds needed to attract and retain top students and faculty, increase access to quality education, and ensure that McGill remains one of the world’s great research-intensive and student-centred universities.

For more information on Campaign McGill, visit www.mcgill.ca/campaign.

For more information on the McGill Athletics and Recreation, visit www.mcgill.ca/athletics.