Your impact on students
The U of S focuses on its future
On December 18, the U of S held its first annual day of giving—the Focus on our Future campaign—in support of students. The entire campus community joined together with alumni and friends to rally behind students, raising $586,000 in one day for scholarships, bursaries and other resources for students. USSU President Max FineDay says supporting the Focus on our Future campaign helps students in the most tangible way. He says, "I see the great work students are doing every day at the U of S and in our community when they have the support they need. We're building community—we're a campus of givers and volunteers. It's inspiring to see folks who are as busy as they are, taking time to give back."
Memorial book prize helps education student
A memorial book prize in honour of Eleanor Rae Wiebe (Anonson) is helping students in the College of Education. Eleanor’s mother, Angela Dawn Wiebe, was a graduate student in the college when her baby daughter died. To honour Eleanor, and to acknowledge Angela's positive experience as an education student, the family set up the prize, which was awarded this year to Calista Cooper, a second-year student in fine arts and social sciences. Eleanor's grandmother, Dr. June Anonson, says the family wanted something positive to come from Eleanor's passing that would help someone else. "We wanted her short life to have some legacy attached to it….as a family we never want to forget what a gift her life was to us if even for a brief time."
Your impact on teaching
New musculoskeletal lab tribute to orthopaedic physiotherapist
The life and work of Saskatoon orthopaedic physiotherapist Marjorie Braid will be honoured with the dedication of the new Musculoskeletal Lab at the School of Physical Therapy. Her husband, Jeff Braid, has committed $100,000 to equip and run the lab, which will inspire additional teaching and learning opportunities in the new Health Sciences E Wing. Described by colleagues as "forever practical and supportive" of students as a clinical instructor, Marj was highly respected for her warm and encouraging patient manner and her skilful technique, which she constantly strived to improve. A champion of post-graduate and life-long learning, she helped organize courses for what is now known as the Continuing Physical Therapy Education (CPTE) Program and was a dedicated leader in continuing orthopaedic physical therapy education in Saskatchewan.
Photographer's legacy lives on at the U of S
The artistic vision of renowned Saskatchewan photographer Courtney Milne is being preserved at the U of S, following the donation of his personal collection to the university archives from his wife, Sherrill Miller, in June. Milne's photographic collection, which is the largest ever donated to the university, contains over half a million original images. Famed for his evocative landscape portraits, the U of S alumnus travelled all seven continents over 35 years to capture the natural environment and places sacred to Indigenous culture. Students in the School for Environment and Sustainability are already using Milne's photographs in their classes, and his work will inspire other disciplines as diverse as biology, geology, education, Native Studies, philosophy, art therapy, medicine, and psychology. A public exhibition is also planned for this autumn.
Your impact in our community
Helping law students give new Canadians a helping hand
Lawyer Gerda Bloemraad knows what it's like to start from scratch in a new country. Arriving in Canada in 1975, she discovered that her master's degree in law from the Netherlands would not be recognized. So she returned to university, graduating from the U of S College of Law in 1993. "I know the roadblocks and uphill battles that immigrants have to face," she says. "I like to support students who are willing to help." To encourage students to make a difference, she has established two prizes—the Gerda R Bloemraad Award, for students volunteering with immigrant and refugee organizations in Canada, and the new Gerda Bloemraad Prize in Immigration Law, which will be awarded for the first time this year.
Growing community leaders in the College of Engineering
Ron and Jane Graham believe in giving back and getting involved in their community—over the years, the couple has donated close to $11 million to enhance the U of S. That's why the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development is firmly focused on helping future engineers become active and engaged members of their professional communities. The school, which was officially opened in the College of Engineering on September 18, develops students' expertise in communication, leadership, design and entrepreneurship. Addressing spring convocation, where he was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws, Ron Graham reminded graduates, "Giving of yourself makes generosity a habit…you will find ways to give back to the community, the university, colleagues and friends. You have many gifts to share."
Your impact on our campus
Ukrainian poet honoured with new garden
The 16-foot bronze statue of revered Ukrainian writer, poet, and activist Lesya Ukrainka has been a familiar presence on campus since 1976, as well as an important symbol of Ukrainian heritage and culture. On August 1, the centenary of Ukrainka's death, the statue's new home was unveiled: the Lesya Ukrainka Garden. Creating an attractive new main entrance to Murray Library, the garden invites visitors to relax on the benches, use the extended wi-fi service, and learn more about the newly restored statue from the donor and historical plaques. The garden has been brought to life through the generosity of a number of donors, including the former head of the U of S Department of Slavic Studies, Victor Buyniak, and the Shevchenko Foundation.
Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Student Centre construction underway
The Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Student Centre took another step closer to reality on June 21 with a special ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction. Named after the late Cree spiritual and political leader, the centre will become the heart of Aboriginal student services and the home of the Indigenous Students' Council. Partly funded by $4.7 million in private donations, the building will include ceremony and teaching spaces, incorporating symbolic elements to make it a welcoming gathering place to recognize and value First Nations and Métis students. At the ceremony, Irene Oakes spoke of her father's vision of two horses working together as a team, calling the project "a very important milestone for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students on campus...the building is meant for everyone."
Your impact on research
Innovative scholarship program doubles student funding
The Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship Program (SIOS) gives U of S donors the chance to unlock an extra $2-million in matching government funding for student scholarships. Focusing on areas such as environment and sustainability, science and technology, engineering, agriculture, medical research, mining and energy, this program helps U of S students at all stages of study go further. PhD candidate David Saunders was already drawn to the U of S by its world-class toxicology program. But SIOS awards allowed him and two fellow students to team up to test for several chemicals in Saskatoon daycares—a research first in Western Canada. Saunders says, "I can think of no better investment than in the future of research at the U of S."
Seeking global food solutions at the U of S
Viterra made a significant investment in the future of global food solutions in November, announcing a $2-million commitment to the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the U of S. The agreement makes Viterra a lead grain industry partner for five years, joining GIFS' founding partners PotashCorp, the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. Supporting GIFS' broad mission to seek solutions to the growing global demand for safe, reliable food and sustainable crops, Viterra will also provide land and farmer co-operators for GIFS field trials to support institute research and innovation. This new partnership will not only contribute to a vibrant bio-economy, but will also firmly place the U of S as a centre of excellence in plant science research.