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by Alec Bruce
n a bright, spring morning in 2006, industrialist and philanthropist George Wallace Ferguson McCain and his
wife, former Lieutenant Governor of new Brunswick Margaret McCain, were walking the grounds of their
Alma Mater, where they had first met decades earlier. Mount Allison University loomed large in their hearts, and
they travelled there as often as their busy schedules would permit. But this day was special.
Thanks to their gift of $5 million, work had recently begun to transform the historic residence, Trueman House, into a state-
of-the-art student centre. When finished, it would house a health and wellness facility, lounge, café, students' council offices,
an international centre, a pub, newspaper and radio operations, and a fitness complex.
University President Robert Campbell was justifiably proud of the progress, and he was anxious to share it with the McCains.
"They happened to be in town for an event. So we organized a tour of the building for them," he recalls. "It took a certain
amount of time to prepare and get over to the building, assign hard hats and get inside. We literally got in the corner basement
entrance. We hadn't even got past the plumbing when Wallace said, `This is just fantastic. Robert, you guys are doing a great
job -- OK, Margie, let's go!'"