Denise MacGillivray, B.Sc. '94 | Alumni | University of Guelph

Denise MacGillivray, B.Sc. '94




Denise MacGillivray,

BSc '94

Read Denise's Bio

Alumni Week Q&A

What is your fondest memory from U of G?

I find it very difficult to name just a single memory, as I have fond memories of my entire time at Guelph. In my first year, I lived in Lennox-Addington – and there I met many of the people that would remain my friends (and roommates) for my entire time at U of G. Living on campus for that first year was an excellent transition away from home and while I lived off campus for the remaining three years of my degree I look back on pictures from that time and am instantly transported back to the sights and sounds of the residence! I spent a lot of time in the study carrels at the library, but particularly loved studying and working sitting at a sunny corner table in the Keg (a.k.a. The Brass Taps) – my roommates and I spent almost every weekend there! Overall though, I think most love the “feel” of the campus. A few years ago, I had the chance to revisit the campus for a meeting, and spent some time walking around and exploring. Even though there is plenty of new (and beautiful!) construction, it was the same old Wineguard Walk, the same old Creelman and Johnson Halls, the same old painted cannon, and the same University Centre - I felt transported back in time! I still try and walk or drive through the campus whenever I have the chance to get to Guelph – there are just so many memories everywhere I look! *and it was the only time in my life that I owned truly gorgeous cowboy boots!


What values did U of G instill in you that you carry to this day?

Going to the U of G was my first time living away from home, so it was the first time I was entirely responsible for taking care of myself and making my own decisions about how to spend my time (and money – mostly!). I had been a good student in high school and did not have too much trouble transitioning to the more independent learning style of University, but as my degree progressed, and the course complexity started to intensify, I actually found myself digging in and absolutely loving the learning! Being challenged through course work and labs to develop “expertise” in a particular scientific discipline was exciting (I know, nerdy right?) and I am sure it is the basis for my continued love of learning.


What is one piece of advice you want to give to current and future U of G students?

Take the time to enjoy every aspect of your time at the U of G. Classes and grades are important of course, and sometimes the demands will seem overwhelming. But there is so much more to truly living the U of G experience and you should make sure that you find time for that. Get involved with an extracurricular club that is of interest, make use of all the amazing campus facilities, and explore the city of Guelph and surrounding areas…. Embrace it all! When I think back on my time in Guelph (both on and off campus) I realize that it was one of the most socially, academically and personally rich times of my life – I’m so glad that I made time for everything I could while I was there!


What does the CBS 50th anniversary/AlumniWeek mean to you?

The fact that the CBS is turning 50 this year is truly amazing. I was able to get involved with the College directly during my later years at Guelph and still love reading the alumni updates whenever they arrive. To think that when I started at U of G, the college wasn’t even 20 years old yet makes me feel a little bit old, but also extremely grateful to have been part of the College’s early days – AND to now be part of such an amazing and ever-expanding community. Definitely something worth celebrating!



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