Liam O’Toole: Finalist for McCall MacBain Schoolarship

Liam O’Toole: Finalist for McCall MacBain Schoolarship

Bishop’s University student Liam O’Toole (BA’23) is a finalist for the first global cohort of McCall MacBain Scholars at McGill University.

The scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the second-largest single donation in Canadian history. Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program.

Liam is among 88 finalists chosen from across Canada and around the world after a first round of regional interviews. He will attend the final round of interviews in Montréal from March 8 to 12, meeting with leaders from academia, business, government, and the social sector.

Students and graduates from more than 1,200 universities applied for the McCall MacBain Scholarships in this first year of global admissions, and 242 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in October and November before the 88 finalists were selected. Up to 30 McCall MacBain Scholars will be selected after final interviews.

Originally from Massachusetts, Liam is a fourth-year international political economy student at Bishop’s. He co-founded the university’s first interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal, emphasizing research accessibility, and organized a local mutual aid network. Liam also worked as a student success manager, leading a small team to run a peer mentorship program. He has been an executive member of the outdoors club, head judge of orientation week, and a teaching assistant. Liam’s research interests involves the politics and policy of organized labour, specifically the revival of trade unionism and changes in industrial workplaces.

“Being selected as a finalist is a surreal feeling. I had never thought of myself as the type of person who would be a contender for scholarships of this magnitude,” said Liam. “The community at Bishop’s University has helped me grow as both a student and a person during my time as an undergraduate student. I want to give just as much back to the BU community as the BU community has given to me.”

“McGill, Montréal, Québec, and Canada attract talented students from all over the world,” said John McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our aim is to provide a life-changing opportunity for students who have a track record of contributing to their communities and a genuine desire to make a positive impact.”

“Our committees were delighted to receive great interest from all corners of the world,” said Natasha Sawh, Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “More than 280 volunteers were involved in assessing candidates. They looked not only for academic strength, but for qualities like integrity, kindness, curiosity, and courage.”

If not selected as a McCall MacBain Scholar, Liam is eligible to receive a $20,000 International Finalist Award for studies at McGill.

Applications will open in June 2023 for September 2024 admission.