Mount Allison alumnus named McCall MacBain Scholarship Finalist 

17 Feb 2023
Jonathan Ferguson (‘21) second-ever from Mount Allison to be selected as a finalist 

Recent international relations graduate Jonathan Ferguson has been selected as a finalist for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship program for master’s and professional studies at McGill University. 

The scholarship received applications from students and graduates from over 1,200 universities and 242 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in October and November 2022. Eighty-eight students from Canada and globally will travel to Montreal in March to be interviewed for the McCall MacBain Scholarship at McGill University. 

Ferguson will attend the final round of interviews in Montreal in early March and meet with leaders from academia, business, government, and the social sector.  

“The application process has not only been engaging and thought-provoking, but also an opportunity to meet other incoming students before classes start this fall,” says Ferguson. “Regardless of which finalists are selected, the connections and encounters that make up the process itself contribute to this enriching and worthwhile experience.” 

Ferguson graduated with honours in international relations and minors in environmental studies and French. At Mount Allison, he was Secretary-General with MtAUN, where students were immersed in current global issues, through Model United Nations simulations. In 2019, he helped organize one of their largest conferences to date, with students from the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University, and local high schools coming to campus to attend. 

In 2019, Ferguson received the ECHO Foundation Internship and worked with an international environmental charity group located in Atlantic Canada and on the Tanzanian island of Pemba called Community Forests International. He assisted with grant-seeking for operations in Pemba, assisted with projects in New Brunswick, and represented the organization at the United Nation’s 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. 

In his graduating year, he served as President of the Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) working alongside a team to serve the student community throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Ferguson is thrilled that there is a great organization approaching scholarships in such a different way. 

“The selection process is truly one of a kind,” says Ferguson. “The selection committee invests so much time and care into the process and toward the applicants, in an approach that is unlike any other.” 

This is the first time the scholarship has opened to international students, following two years of Canadian-only admissions. The finalists represent 62 universities from Canada and around the world. Ferguson is looking forward to meeting the other finalists. 

He says his time at Mount Allison has prepared him well for this opportunity, as many of the values he felt on campus overlap with what the scholarship embodies and its mission and goals.  

“I think the values of empathy, integrity, honesty, and leadership thrive on campus. I can’t think of any other community I would have rather been a part of more to prepare me for an opportunity like this, than Mount A.” 

Ferguson will be pursuing a BCL/JD at McGill Law.  

Up to 30 McCall MacBain Scholars will be selected after final interviews. Those not selected are eligible to receive a $10,000 or $20,000 Finalist Award for studies at McGill. Scholars are interviewed and chosen based on character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity. 

In 2022, Martha Pitre was the first Mount Allison student to be selected as a finalist and later a recipient of the McCall MacBain Scholarship. Pitre’s scholarship includes full coverage of the program’s tuition and fees and a living stipend of $2,000 per month. 

More about the Scholarship: 

The McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill are Canada’s first comprehensive, leadership-driven scholarships for master’s and professional degree studies. The scholarship is designed to encourage purposeful leadership and will enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program. 

The scholarships were announced in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, through a landmark gift of $200 million and are planned to continue in perpetuity. The scholarship brings together a group of exceptional students who strive to make a positive impact and take on meaningful leadership roles. McCall MacBain Scholars connect with mentors and participate in an interdisciplinary leadership program while pursuing a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University. 

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