Ann Louise Carson BSc(Agr)’81, is a quintessential Mac grad. A third-generation Mac student and proud alum, she went on to a successful executive career in Canada’s dairy industry.
“Mac was a dream come true,” says Carson. “Studying agriculture on a beautiful campus, access to barns and an arboretum, and the credibility of a McGill degree – it doesn’t get much better!”
Carson took full advantage of her time on campus: competing with the Woodsmen, organizing College Royals with the Livestock Club, and making lifelong friends.
“Mac was huge in my formative years,” recalls Carson. “Not just in my family, but among neighbours, friends, and extended family. There were always green-and-gold jackets around, and such respect for the institution.”
Carson took the Mac experience with her when she started her career. “You get into the real world and realize, ‘Oh, that’s why I took that course.’ You see the things you learned in class with new eyes.”
She held executive positions at Boviteq, Valacta, Eastern Breeders, and Holstein Canada, where she always had an eye out for Mac students.
“They tended to be bilingual, open to the world, and ready for the workplace. I kept meeting Mac grads throughout my career – I ran into them at conventions and industry events, and worked with Mac professors on projects in Brazil and Argentina. Travelling outside of my rural Quebec community helped me I fully realized the impact of McGill’s credibility.”
Now retired, she’s doing her part to ensure the Mac experience continues: she is leaving a legacy gift to support the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Mac was all about ‘the Mac experience’ for me, and that’s what I would like to support – anything that contributes to a well-rounded education.”
Carson used to think that a legacy gift automatically meant a substantial gift – the kind that gets a building named after you – “but I know now that I was under the wrong impression. I was very pleased to learn that every gift to McGill, no matter the amount, is treated with respect. Smaller gifts can provide Deans with a little more latitude, and they make up a large portion of contributions. Every little bit counts.”
That is certainly the case with McGill’s 200 for 200 Legacy Challenge, which aims to secure 200 legacy gifts in celebration of McGill’s 200th anniversary: every legacy gift the University receives will be counted, with no minimum required.
Carson decided to participate because “I felt that giving back to Mac in the last chapter of my life worked better for me. I owe so much to my Mac years – and showing it this way works for me.”
Pictured, kneeling: Scott Templeton, Dip.Agr.’79; Peter Griffith, Dip.Agr.’80; Harry van der Linden, BSc(Agr)’78. Standing: Charlotte Anne Beattie Griffith, BSc(F.Sc)’83; Lois Fowler, Dip.Agr.’80; Ann Louise Carson, BSc(Agr)’81; Joanne Enright van der Linden BSc(Agr)’80; Marina Steiner, Dip.Agr’80.