Education & Scholarships

We believe in the power of education, and scholarships in particular, to transform lives and in turn transform our communities to be fairer, healthier, and more prosperous for all.

We invest in educational programs and scholarships that work to equip the next generation of leaders.

We believe in educational programs and scholarships that provide students with a range of opportunities to actualize their potential and promise. This means more than financial resources, including access to mentorship and role models, international and national networks, ongoing learning, development of intercultural competencies, and a community that consistently supports and challenges its members to make a positive impact on our world.

In all of our programs and investments we strive to nurture and reinforce the value of character traits such as integrity, entrepreneurship, empathy, curiosity, genuine interest in others, self-awareness, adaptability, resilience and drive in secondary school students and students pursuing undergraduate, master’s and professional degree programs as well as post-docs.

The McCall MacBain Foundation’s three strategic priorities for the next five years are:

Strategy 1: Investing in scholarship programs that find and nurture the next generation of leaders

We support leading scholarship and education programs that go beyond financial resources to foster the potential of young people to make significant contributions to society in every field. These scholarships and programs recognize the arc of growth of leadership qualities that spans a lifetime, and do not necessarily reward students for past accomplishments but challenge them to reach higher as they take on various roles throughout their lives. Our programs strive to ensure that students with potential have access to out-of-classroom experiences that will allow them to truly realize the fullest expression of that potential. We want students to have access to opportunities that will provide them practical tools, networks, role-models that will inspire them to take meaningful risks, stretch their intellectual curiosity, and go beyond conventional paths.

Ultimately, we hope our students go on to build careers driven by a desire to improve the lot of others by a willingness to take on some of the biggest and most complex societal issues, and to do so always with integrity and resoluteness. The scholarships we support and our initiatives make every effort to jump-start this trajectory.

Grantees include the Loran Scholars Foundation, the Rhodes and Mandela Rhodes Scholarships, the Kupe Leadership Scholarships and the Global Leadership Experience program at RMIT. Our own initiatives include the MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarships and the McCall Huron County Scholarships.


Our Initiatives

Within this strategy, we also strive to identify gaps in programming and run our own leadership-based merit award initiatives to contribute to efforts to address them. Two such initiatives recognize graduating high school students in our principals’ home communities who demonstrate strong character, have made positive contributions to their schools or broader communities, and are committed to excellence.


McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill

The McCall MacBain Scholarships will draw outstanding students from Canada and around the world to pursue a funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University, combined with a comprehensive enrichment program. Applications open in June 2020.

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MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarships

For graduating students of five Niagara Falls high schools who are planning to go onto undergraduate studies at university in Canada.

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McCall Huron County Scholarships

For graduating students of five Huron County high schools who are planning to go onto undergraduate studies at university in Canada.

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Spotlight on Our Grantees

McCall MacBain Gateway to Medicine Program at the University of St Andrews

The Gateway to Medicine Program at the University of St Andrews was established in 2015 with seed funding from the McCall MacBain Foundation. The Program’s aim is to reach bright students in underprivileged neighbourhoods in Fife who have the potential and...

The Kupe Leadership Scholarships at the University of Auckland

The McCall MacBain Foundation had an instrumental role in setting up New Zealand’s premier graduate scholarship at its top university, the University of Auckland. The Kupe Scholarships are for masters level study and aim to attract outstanding...

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa through scholarships for masters level study for young African leaders at universities in South Africa. Mandela Rhodes Scholars exhibit leadership with a dedication...

The Loran Scholars Foundation

The Loran Scholars Foundation provides the top undergraduate award in Canada. The program, which is highly selective based on the three pillars of character, service and leadership, provides a comprehensive schedule of enrichment opportunities...
The Rhodes Trust

The Rhodes Trust

The Rhodes Scholarships enables exceptional post-graduate students to study at the University of Oxford on the basis of great academic achievement, character, leadership and commitment to service. Scholars are provided with support to develop...

Strategy 2: Creating opportunities for undergraduate students that will inspire them to aim higher and maximize their potential

We believe in the importance of out-of-classroom opportunities for undergraduate students to test their comfort zones, discover their strengths, engage in their communities and develop resilience and adaptability. We work to develop these opportunities with an emphasis on “talent-at-risk” and invest in organizations aiming to scale up or extend the reach of high-impact programs that focus on leadership and character development for undergraduates. Our flagship initiative within this strategy is the McCall MacBain Year Abroad. Our grantees include Enactus and the McCall MacBain International Human Rights Fellowships at the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program.


Our Initiatives

Our flagship initiative under this strategy aims to develop globally minded leaders with strong intercultural competencies and ties to different regions of the world.


McCall MacBain International Fellowships

For McMaster and McGill undergraduate students between the ages of 19-24 in second, third year or beginning of fourth year studies to live, study and work abroad for a year.

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Spotlight on Our Grantees

Arts Umbrella

Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit arts education centre offering programs to over 20,000 children and youth annually. Its professional dance program is highly lauded and is one of only four in the country to receive arts infrastructure funding...

The International Summer Research Program at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

One of two Swiss federal institutes of technology, EPFL is a highly-ranked public research institute and university specializing in natural sciences and engineering. Each summer, EPFL chooses 25 students from around the world and provides them with a funded two-month...

The International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP)

The IHRP was established to conduct research and advocacy on critical human rights issues and provide law students with opportunities to develop their capacity to promote and protect international human rights. Its flagship program is the...


The McCall MacBain Foundation is the official host and lead sponsor of the Enactus Leadership Summit. Enactus is a national charitable organization working on university and college campuses across Canada to develop leadership and...

Arthur Allister MacBain Law Scholarship at the Schulich School of Law

The Arthur Allister MacBain Memorial Scholarship is provided by the McCall MacBain Foundation to honour the legacy of John’s father. Since 2007 it has been awarded to up to three students each year who are entering law school at Dalhousie...

Strategy 3: Making investments in secondary school students that will ensure that potential is discovered early and given the opportunity to grow for all of our benefit

We support outstanding youth leadership programs that seek out and nurture promising secondary school students and enable them to aim high no matter where they live or their circumstances. These programs recognize that students from unconventional backgrounds have immense potential for leadership which might otherwise be short-changed, and look to reach these students wherever they are.

Grantees include SHAD, Junior Achievement, and the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre.

Spotlight on Our Grantees

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement’s mission is to educate young people about entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-force readiness. The charity reaches 250,000 students across the country each year. JA has a range of programs incorporating theoretical...


SHAD provides 200 Canadian high school students per year with an intensive, residential, month-long summer enrichment program focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics and entrepreneurship. Those selected to join the...

Ontario Educational Leadership Centre

The Ontario Education Leadership Centre engages and educates youth from grades six through twelve in the summer so that they can return to their schools with the skills and resources to make a positive difference with their peers, neighborhoods...