How your donations made a difference in 2011


Ambitious.

It’s what your donations have allowed us to be.

Gifts like yours fuel our eager minds and allow us to stand among the most distinguished universities in Canada and the world. Whether you’ve allowed one student to pursue their studies with decreased financial burden, or enabled a research team to unravel a mystery, you’ve made a real and lasting difference through your donation.

In our 2011 report to donors, we’ll introduce you to sixteen exceptional people at the University of Saskatchewan who are benefitting from donor support. These are just a few of the people whose work you make possible, but indeed the entire U of S community has been touched by your support in some way.

How do we describe donors like you? Generous.

Thank you for your support of the University of Saskatchewan.

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Message from President Peter MacKinnon
Thanks to donors like you, our university has undergone considerable change in my time as president, and 2011 was no exception.

While some donations made headlines, most are quietly at work behind the scenes each day at the U of S. But for a student who may not otherwise have been able to attend the U of S, the 100 new scholarships and bursaries that were created with donated dollars this past year were a cause for great celebration indeed!

From donations of art and artifacts that encourage us to appreciate what is, to research funding that allows us to discover what could be, donations made by alumni and friends like you help our people realize their potential at the University of Saskatchewan.
Thanking you for your support has been one of the highlights of my tenure. Whether it was shaking your hand at an event, welcoming you to the Greystone Circle, or speaking to you as a part of an audience, never cease to be overwhelmed by the incredible support you have given our university in order to help us meet our ambitious goals. In 2011, this support totaled over $32 million to support our institution.

But the real beneficiaries of your donations are individual people who can do their best work, in the best surroundings, for the most important reasons at the University of Saskatchewan. In this report, you’ll meet sixteen of them who will tell you in their own words what your donations mean to them. These are just a few of the people in our campus community who you are helping in ways both big and small—and sometimes in ways we couldn’t imagine (read about the chairs in the Collaborative Learning Laboratory below to see what I mean).

As I prepare to step down as president of the University of Saskatchewan, I do so with full intention of remaining closely connected to this university that is so dear to me. I hope that you, too, will continue to be a part of our university as a donor, friend and advocate. So until we next meet, please accept my sincerest thanks for supporting our University of Saskatchewan.

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Want to create an ideal study environment for students? Pull up a chair.
The new Collaborative Learning Lab in Murray Library is pretty much the ideal study and work environment for students: bright, private and wide open spaces that are well-equipped with technology for teaching and learning and possibly the most comfortable chairs on campus.

Geology student Carson Brown first started studying in the “Co-Lab” as it’s called by its regulars back when it opened last fall, but he’s still talking about its high-quality ergonomic seating. “The chairs are amazing!” he says. “They’re the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in.” But he’s keen on everything else that the space has to offer as well. With glass walls to let in natural light and maintain openness and plenty of plug-ins and video screens and wheeled tables, it’s a haven for groups to meet and work on projects.

Collaboration was the goal of Professor Emeritus Kay Nasser and his wife Dora when they donated $150,000 to construct an enhanced teaching and learning space at the library. Thanks to window blinds, sound-proofing, video conferencing, camera and audio camera equipment, as well as extra high-bandwidth wireless and network connections, the Lab is also capable of capturing and streaming courses, workshops and lectures to other institutions and distance learners throughout the province.

Co-Lab regular and political studies major Shiva-Shanker Mysore points to its collection of SMART Boards, often used by math and science students, as another highlight of the space. “They can punch right through a big problem up on the screen together, then they have the work right there on their computer, they can just clean it up and hand it in.” Both students agree that because people work in different ways, it’s important that the university’s libraries offer a variety of study environments to help bring out their best. “If I’ve got a test in two hours, I go somewhere dead quiet,” says Carson. “If I want to work on a group project, talk to some people, I come to the Co-Lab. Everyone can come to the same meeting point, all of the equipment is here, you can bring your computers here, everything you need is here.”

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