The search is on for the owners of a mysterious wedding ring, found in a Saskatoon garden by Colleen Christensen, Executive Director of the Feeds Innovation Institute here at the University of Saskatchewan.
The ring is extra special—because according to the engraving found on the inside—J & J 8/9/62—the owner of this ring will soon be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
The ring was found entwined in a bunch of lilies that were originally dug up from Christensen’s family farm in Young, meaning the owners could potentially be from Young, or a past owner of her home in Saskatoon. With the possibility of the owner being a U of S alumnus, Christensen is even more determined to find them.
Christensen has checked all the owners of her Saskatoon home back to 1960 through the Henderson’s directory, but there’s been no match of initials. She’s also searched through the Star Phoenix microfiche for August and September of 1962 but hasn’t found a match there either.
“If anybody knows somebody who’s approaching a 50th wedding anniversary with the initials J and J, that would be a way to find them,” Christensen said.
If you have any information on the potential owner of the ring, please contact Colleen Christensen at (306) 966-4154.
The University of Saskatchewan will rename the historic College Building to the Peter MacKinnon Building to honor the outgoing U of S President.
U of S Board of Governor Chair Nancy Hopkins made the naming announcement at a special dinner honoring MacKinnon June 14 at TCU Place.
“As the university’s eighth president, Peter MacKinnon provided a vision for the future of our university by reaching into our past and renewing the dream of our founders, that the University of Saskatchewan should have ‘an honoured place among the best,” said Hopkins.
“The College Building and its restoration became an early and very visible symbol of Peter’s determination. It is fitting, therefore, that the university recognize Peter MacKinnon’s legacy of leadership by renaming the College Building in his honour.”
The university’s Board of Governors approved the name change at the May 2012 meeting. Federal approval was confirmed earlier in the week to allow the U of S to officially change the name of a building that was deemed a National Historic Site in 2001.
Built between 1910 and 1912, the Agriculture Building (as it was then known) was designed by architectural firm Brown and Valance in collegiate gothic style. The importance of this first building was recognized when Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier took a break from his political tour of Saskatchewan during the summer of 1910 to lay the building cornerstone on July 29.
According to U of S Historian Bill Waiser, once classes began on campus in 1912, the Agriculture Building quickly became the hub of a succession of activities and purposes—from milk-testing to extension meetings in Convocation Hall to the basement gymnasium to biology labs to the university library to the first home of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra to the College of Education to the Department of Art and Art History. In time, though, the building gradually became the administrative centre of the university. In fact, during the mid-1970s, thousands of students patiently lined up on the well-worn steps to register in what was then known as the Administration Building.
Unfortunately, the building fell into disrepair and was partially vacated in 1984 when crumbling support pillars caused significant sagging. The deterioration continued and the building was abandoned completely in 1997.
Then, thanks to the large ideas of President MacKinnon and members of the university community, and the skilled work of a number of tradespeople, the College Building was successfully restored to its former beauty and grandeur, reopening officially in 2005.
“Indeed, the building continues to serve as the centrepiece to the bowl and the larger university campus,” said Waiser. “It anchors the best collection of collegiate gothic architecture on any university campus in Canada.”
“I am very honored by this decision,” said MacKinnon. “This building represents historic significance and an exciting future for our university. Helping to see the restoration and re-opening of the College Building is one of the great moments during my term as president.”
MacKinnon joined the College of Law at the U of S in 1975, becoming a full professor in 1983. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990. He went on to serve as assistant dean and dean of law before his appointment as president and vice-chancellor in July 1999.
During his tenure as president, MacKinnon led policy changes to improve the university’s success as a competitive medical-doctoral institution. He oversaw major capital expansion at the university that included restoration of the historic College Building as well as construction and renovation of significant teaching and research facilities.
MacKinnon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in January 2012 and was recently named the inaugural Prime Minister of Canada Fellow beginning in September 2012. He was a member of the federal Science, Technology and Innovation Council from 2007-2012, overseeing with McGill Principal Heather Munroe Blum the preparation of Council’s State of the Nations Reports. He served as chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada from 2003-2005.
MacKinnon will step down as U of S president June 30, 2012
The U of S Alumni Association proudly unveiled the Alumni Wall of Honour on August 18 during the grand re-opening reception of Place Riel.
The Wall honours U of S alumni and recognizes the universities donors by sharing the accomplishments of alumni and impact that donor support has on the university. Located on upper Place Riel, the Wall features a dynamic and interactive “touch” screen, individuals can read alumni profiles and donor stories while learning more about the U of S Alumni Association and its history.
Jason Aebig (BA ‘99) President of the U of S Alumni Association and Heather Magotiaux, Vice-President, University Advancement were on hand to officially unveil the Wall of Honour and thank project members for their work over the past 10 months.
“The Alumni Wall of Honor’s location in a public space like Place Riel will serve to increase the awareness of the U of S Alumni Association to students who become members of the Association upon graduation” said Association president Jason Aebig. “The impact that donors have on student success and on the University overall is significant and honouring their contributions this way is one way to thank them for their support.”