Nancy McCain – Doctor of Humanities ('21)

Video transcript

“As you take your next steps, never forget the important lessons you learned at Acadia: the importance of giving; of finding and creating community; and of making a difference when and where you can.”


Nancy McCain (’82) grew up in a family that strongly felt you had to give back. “My parents and all of my siblings believe deeply in this ethos. My brother Stephen (’81) is a big supporter of Acadia as is my sister Margie (’77). Many in my family went to Acadia, and that’s one of the main reasons I chose to go there for my undergraduate studies – the family connection,” she says.

Ms. McCain joined Acadia’s Board of Governors in May 2007. She is a member of the Advancement Committee and the Acadia University Art Gallery Advisory Committee. In 2018, she accepted the role of Chair of Campaign for Acadia, the University’s most ambitious fundraising initiative, with a goal of raising $75 million. Under her leadership, the campaign raised $86.8 million, making history as Acadia’s most successful campaign to date.

After completing her MA in Arts Administration at New York University, Ms. McCain pursued a career in the arts, working for Sotheby’s in London and New York and later at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

She is Vice Chair of the Toronto Foundation, Chair of the Arts Access Fund, member of the board of directors of the Sobey Art Foundation and Soulpepper Theatre Company. As President of the Morneau–McCain Foundation, she is currently leading an initiative with the University of Toronto to provide scholarships and permanent residency to refugee girls from Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. She has also served as President of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and Chair of the Canadian Art Foundation.

Ms. McCain lives in Toronto with her husband and has four grown children.