On April 16, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield announced the names of the 10 new recipients—six of whom are University of Saskatchewan alumni—to be invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour that marks its 30th anniversary this year.
In a statement, Solomon Schofield said, “Like those invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit over the past three decades, this year’s recipients are individuals of uncommon achievement, generosity and vision. I congratulate them on this well-deserved honour, and I thank them for their extraordinary contributions to our province.”
The 2014-15 recipients who are U of S alumni are:
Lorne Calvert, BA’73
The Reverend Lorne Calvert had a long and prosperous career in provincial politics. He was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1986 and was sworn into office as Saskatchewan’s 13th premier on Feb. 8, 2001. Among his many roles in government before becoming premier, he served as associate minister of health, minister responsible for SaskPower and SaskEnergy, deputy chair of the Crown Corporations Committee, member of the Legislature’s Standing Committee on the Environment, minister of health and minister of social services.
In the summer of 2009, he became the principal at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon.
Wilfred (Wilf) Keller, BSA’69, PhD’72
Wilf Keller is a recognized global leader in research, management and promotion of agricultural biotechnology. He has worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the National Research Council, Genome Prairie and Ag-West Bio Inc., dedicating himself to the advancement of agricultural biotechnology.
He led the development of scientific protocols that impacted the development of crops such as canola, mustard, broccoli and cabbage. His work was a prerequisite to the development of the first herbicide-tolerant canola variety in North America, and he has collaborated with numerous organizations to ensure scientific discoveries are quickly converted into agricultural advantages for producers.
William (Bill) McKnight, LLD’14
The Honourable Bill McKnight served the constituents of Kindersley-Lloydminster as a member of Parliament from 1979 to 1993, serving as minister in seven federal departments. He also served as the first minister of the Department of Western Economic Diversification and laid the groundwork for the 1992 Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement.
McKnight served as the treaty commissioner for the Province of Saskatchewan and was made honorary chief by the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, who named a parcel of commercial land in Saskatoon after him in recognition for his role in creating the first urban reserve in Canada.
Ellen Schmeiser, LLB’57, BA’59
Ellen Schmeiser served as special advisor on matrimonial property and prepared recommendations for legislation that led to the enactment of The Matrimonial Property Act in 1980, regarded by many as the most progressive legislation of its kind in the country and became a model for other provinces.
Her dedication to equality and human rights issues led to her being founding Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, representing the three Prairie provinces.
Among her many roles, she was an associate professor in the College of Law at the U of S and served as judge of the Provincial Court.
David E. Smith, DLett’95
University of Saskatchewan Professor Emeritus David E. Smith has spent his entire professional academic career in Saskatchewan, as a professor in the U of S Department of Political Studies and later as senior policy fellow at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
Smith has shaped the thinking of thousands of Saskatchewan post-secondary students, and through his writing, has brought national and international attention to scholarship in Saskatchewan. He is an internationally recognized scholar whose work is deeply rooted in the Prairies, bringing Saskatchewan political history into the mainstream of Canadian political science.
Henry Woolf, LLD’01In 1983, after a very full career in theatre, television and film, Henry Woolf came to Saskatchewan to take up a position at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Drama, of which he would later become head.
He has been a major influence for generations of writers, actors, directors and other theatre professionals whose careers he has helped launch and shape. London, UK born and educated, Woolf has made Saskatoon home and has made significant contributions to theatre and the arts, working with Persephone Theatre, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan as artistic director, and many other groups and organizations.
The 2014 and 2015 investitures have been merged this year with the ceremony for both taking place on May 13 in Regina.
Established in 1985, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit is a prestigious recognition of excellence, achievement and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the province and its people. The Order acknowledges individuals who have made their mark in the arts, agriculture, business, industry, community leadership, occupations, professions, public service, research and volunteer service.
The Saskatchewan Order of Merit takes precedence over all other provincial honours and awards. The lieutenant governor is the Chancellor of the Order.