Message from the president

Thank you for your support of the University of Saskatchewan. As a donor, you make a difference every day at the U of S, and because of you, 2012 was a remarkable year of diverse donations.

In this report, you will read about just a few of the ways in which donors like you have made an impact this past year. From the momentous, like the $35-million investment from PotashCorp that established the Global Institute for Food Security in December, to the combined impact of over 5,600 alumni supporting student scholarships, equipment and library resources through the Annual Campaign for Students, you have shown that you believe in the power of education and research, and your support is helping us accomplish great things.

Together, donors contributed an astounding $28 million in 2012 towards initiatives that support our students, researchers and facilities. Gifts of all sizes allow us to welcome students from home and around the globe, provide them with exceptional learning opportunities and resources, and inspire collaboration and innovation in scientific discovery. Thanks to your contributions, our influence stretches all the way from our football field to our agricultural fields, to nursing classrooms in Saskatchewan’s northern communities, and to research symposiums throughout North America and beyond. We truly value your incredible support.

We want you to be proud of the impact that your gifts have made at the U of S, and we strive to keep you informed on how your donations make the University of Saskatchewan one of the leading sources of knowledge, discovery and opportunity in our country. After you read these inspiring stories of generosity, we would love to hear from you. I encourage you to visit and give us your feedback about this report. If you would like to read more about recent donations and how your support makes a difference, please visit And if you’re not already a donor, I invite you to become one by visiting or calling University Advancement at 306-966-5186. As you will see, by making a difference to one person, you can change the future.

Thank you for all that you do, and for your belief in us.

Ilene Busch-Vishniac



Providing students with the resources, support and opportunities to succeed, you give thousands of students memories that will last a lifetime.

Inspiring students, showcasing artistic passion

For the past decade, a gift from Gail and Mark Appel has brought some of the world’s finest artists and thinkers to the U of S. Established in 2002, the Gail Appel Lecture Series in Literature and Fine Arts invites inspiring literary, visual, and performing arts luminaries to share their ideas with the university community and public.

In October, Canadian music legend Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo delivered an entertaining and insightful lecture on “Canadian Music: The Dawning of Independence”, and hosted a one-of-a-kind master class in song-writing for students in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

The Appels’ gift also created six annual travel bursaries, which have helped dozens of students to expand their personal and educational horizons by studying abroad. Alumna Gail Appel says she wants to inspire students to follow their passions. “I want to encourage students,” says Appel, a professional artist. “If it’s your passion, just keep doing it.”

View videos of Jim Cuddy’s lecture and performance

A musical gift for students

Convocation Hall is now home to a world-class concert piano, thanks to a gift from Roger and Marie Jolly. Roger Jolly, Saskatoon’s internationally- renowned piano technician, says, “I think our kids deserve to play one of the finest-built pianos in the world.” The C. Bechstein D280 concert grand piano is worth about $250,000 and its exceptional quality, combined with the hall’s beautiful acoustic setting, will make musical studies and performances at the university even more rewarding and memorable.

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Modernizing the dental teaching clinic

Dental students at the U of S now have some of the most advanced dental x-ray technology available at their fingertips. New oral health imaging equipment has been installed at the teaching clinic that replaces most traditional x-rays, enhancing diagnostic teaching and patient care. This equipment purchase has been made possible by a $250,000 gift from the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan and a partnership between the College of Dentistry and Carestream Dental Canada.

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Respected veterinarian gave back to WCVM

The late Dr. James Mailer loved being a veterinarian. Unfailingly devoted to his career and community, he is remembered for his kindness and generosity as much as for his professional accomplishments. His planned gift of $200,000 to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine carries on his lifelong commitment to students and the future of the veterinary profession—it is being used to fund research, equipment, and teaching at the college, as well as student scholarships and bursaries.

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Business students win with new sponsor

JDC West is western Canada’s largest business school competition, showcasing academic, debate, athletic, and social events. In 2012, BHP Billiton became the title sponsor of the Edwards School of Business team, pledging support worth up to $54,000 for the next three years. The Edwards team rose to the challenge at JDC 2013, placing in the top three in nearly half the categories, and taking home its first-ever “School of the Year” trophy for all-round performance.

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Finding solutions to pressing societal and scientific challenges, your support of innovative research helps us lead the way in Canada and beyond.

Coming together in Health Sciences

As the Health Sciences Project nears completion, a Saskatchewan family with deep roots in the health-care profession is helping it to reach its full potential. The Dr. Stephen and Michelene Worobetz Foundation has donated $250,000 to the landmark project, part of which is dedicated to the new Clinical Learning Resource Centre.

Here, students and teachers from all health-care disciplines will meet to take part in learning simulations—an integrated educational experience that will help transform future health care.

Hon. Dr. Stephen Worobetz taught medicine at the U of S for many years and later served as Lieutenant-Governor. Other members of the Worobetz family, mainly educated at the U of S, went on to pursue careers in medicine, nursing, surgery, pharmacy, kinesiology, physiotherapy and medical engineering.

The gift is a fitting legacy that highlights the family’s pride and support for the U of S, which nephew Dr. Lawrence Worobetz says “allowed so many of us to achieve our career goals.”

Read more about the gift

Engineering chairs spark teaching and research

The U of S is building on its dynamic culture of teaching and research with two new chairs in the College of Engineering. SaskPower is providing $3.5 million for a new faculty chair position that will focus on power systems engineering within the electrical engineering program. Cisco Canada has also contributed $2 million for a chair dedicated to mining research and innovative industry projects, which will help the vital Canadian and Saskatchewan mining sector improve regular operations.

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Geology chair honours mining expert

The Pyke family of Calgary has made the largest donation ever to both the Department of Geological Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. This major gift established the Murray W. Pyke Chair in Geological Sciences, dedicated to the respected U of S alumnus for his work in Canadian mineral and petroleum exploration. Jackie Pyke says the gift recognizes her father’s lifelong lessons: “work hard at what you love to do, and always give back.”

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Law chair named for Justice Estey

The late Supreme Court Justice Willard “Bud” Estey “was very proud of his Saskatchewan roots,” say his family. In his honour, they have made one of the largest donations in the history of the College of Law—$2 million—to create the Estey Chair in Business Law. The chair will attract outstanding scholars to share their expertise with students and faculty and will position the College as one of Canada’s leading business law institutions.

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Fund seeks animal research alternatives

A lifelong supporter of animal rights has donated $395,000 to the College of Medicine to explore and encourage alternatives to animal research. Born in Latvia, Hildegarde Lejins came to Canada with her family in 1960, settling near Prince Albert. The Zigurds and Hildegarde Lejins Fund has sprung forth from her passionate desire for the humane treatment of animals and her wish to make the use of animals in medical research a thing of the past.


You are supporting diversity and engagement, strengthening our bonds with Aboriginal communities, and helping us provide a welcoming place of learning for all.

Northern nursing students get teaching robots

Nursing students in northern Saskatchewan can now learn where they live, thanks to specialized teaching robots. Funded with a $10,000 donation from the Fitzhenry Family Foundation, Remote Presence robots are connecting students in Air Ronge and Île-à-la-Crosse with the College of Nursing campuses in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Regina. The robots, which are fully mobile, allow faculty and mentors to “beam in” to the nursing skills labs via live video to teach and assess clinical skills.

This is the first time that this technology has been used for nursing education in Canada and Professor Carol Bullin, one of the instructors, says that the sky is the limit for its possibilities.

“The northern students have embraced this teaching strategy,” she says. “I even get robotic hugs!” Because students can now complete their education without leaving home, this pioneering project will boost the future number of nurses working in northern, rural and remote Saskatchewan communities.

Read more about the gift

Grad student wins creative, cross-cultural awards

A masters student working on a multilingual creative thesis about first contact in Canada has received an award aimed at enriching Canadian cultural life by promoting cross-cultural study. Andréa Ledding was awarded the Dick and Mary Edney Masters Scholarship for International Understanding through the Humanities & Fine Arts, a scholarship established by David Edney in honour of his parents. Ledding, a prize-winning published poet, is an inaugural member of Interdisciplinary Centre for Creativity and Culture’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program.

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Library honouring Aboriginal art and achievement

Murray Library patrons are enjoying new artwork that celebrates Aboriginal cultures and contributions and creates a more welcoming space. Installed thanks to donor support of the Library’s Annual Fund Campaign, these four pieces by David Garneau and Kevin Pee-Ace are a striking part of the library’s ongoing First Nations and Métis engagement initiatives, which in 2012 included a major exhibition called “Knowledge Keepers: Authorship, Artistry, Archives,” staff treaty education, further development of the Indigenous Studies Portal, and a new Aboriginal employment strategy.

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Helping education grad students succeed

More Aboriginal students are becoming leaders in their field, thanks to a prestigious graduate award. Established with a $175,000 gift, the TD Bank Financial Group Aboriginal Graduate Bursary has been awarded to 22 students in the College of Education since 2006, helping them to carry out valuable research, bring practical programming ideas back to their communities, and connect with counterparts around the world. 2012 winner Irene Oakes calls the award “a great opportunity” that has eased her full-time Doctor of Philosophy studies.

Tuition bursary paves medical student’s way

The William and Diana Kindrachuk Bursary in Medicine covers tuition for one Aboriginal medical student. “I wanted to share my good fortune,” says Dr. Kindrachuk, who created the renewable bursary in 2007 to provide students with greater educational opportunity. Current bursary winner Jon Starr was feeling the strain of paying for all of his medical schooling while supporting a young family. And now? “I can really study and get involved in mentoring other Aboriginal students in the College of Medicine.”

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Improving the economic, social and cultural vitality of our region and beyond, you inspire others with your generosity.

Kids getting healthy and happy with MEND

Families and children in Saskatoon are being inspired to lead healthier lives with the encouragement of the College of Kinesiology’s Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it! (MEND) program. Launched in September, this three-year program is the result of a partnership between the U of S and Saskatchewan Blue Cross, which has donated $1 million to the initiative.

MEND tackles the root causes of childhood obesity by providing positive and practical activities that families enjoy. Kids get advice and education on nutrition and goal-setting, as well as sponsored gym time, which helps them to take steady steps towards improved fitness and nutrition.

With its third session now underway, the program is already paying dividends. Fifteen children between the ages of 7-13 took part in MEND in 2012 and not only did they experience noticeable improvements in their fitness levels—they also had fun trying new physical activities and learning how to make good food choices.

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Facing tomorrow’s food challenges

How will we feed the world in the future? A new international food security institute at the U of S will lead the way through research and business collaboration. Established with a significant $35-million donation from the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and $15 million from the Government of Saskatchewan, the Global Institute for Food Security will use Saskatchewan’s unique resources, innovation and expertise to address key food supply issues such as soil quality, crop production and international trade.

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Scholarship honours environmental activism

Michelle’s Prize was established by the Canadian Environmental Law Association in honour of the late Michelle Swenarchuk, a passionate lawyer and U of S alumna who fought for sustainable development and environmental protection. She played a crucial role in the landmark 2002 Harvard Mouse case, ensuring that higher life forms could not be patented in Canada. Three annual awards will support students pursuing a degree in environmental studies, environmental law, or international trade and the environment.

Support rings loud for Huskies

The Huskies continue to raise cheers and support from their fans. In October, long-time patrons Ron and Jane Graham were honoured with the dedication of the Graham Huskie Clubhouse, built in 2006 and expanded in 2010 through their generous donations. The 2012 Huskies Dogs’ Breakfast also raised over $100,000 in May, for a total of $1 million to date. This popular fundraiser creates 40 football scholarships every year, attracting more top athletes to the U of S.

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Annual Campaign helps students go further

A gift to students makes a big difference—no matter its size. In 2012, over 5,600 donors contributed over $1.2 million through the Annual Campaign for Students to provide scholarships, equipment and library resources. One of the students who benefited was grad student David Flatla, who is creating special tools to help people with colour blindness. Thanks to this award, he has been able to extend his research and present his unique findings throughout North America.

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Financial Highlights