Michael G. DeGroote
Michael moved to Hamilton in 1959, the year he began building Laidlaw Transport into the company that would become the largest school bus operator and third-largest waste management company in North America. In 1987, just a year before Michael sold Laidlaw, he began what would become a decades-long partnership with McMaster, a partnership that has seen him share in and enable the vision that has helped position the University as a global leader in research and teaching.
His support has touched areas on campus as diverse as internal medicine, the McMaster Museum of Art, epilepsy research, and literary criticism. In 1992, McMaster’s business faculty expanded its reach and opened a new building on the strength of Michael’s generosity and advocacy, becoming the Michael G. Degroote School of Business. The DeGroote family gift to the McMaster University Student Centre played a major role in bringing to life the building now seen as the heart of our campus. Then, a decade ago, Michael made McMaster the recipient of the largest cash gift in Canadian history when he donated to what is now the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. That gift helped solidify McMaster’s national profile and global credentials to such an extent that McMaster is now ranked in the top 15 universities in the world.
Michael DeGroote has displayed a long-term, wide-ranging and progressive interest in McMaster. He has used his own notoriety, credibility and resources to enhance the University’s standing, capacity and impact, making him a clear candidate for an Honorary Membership in the McMaster Alumni Association.