A legacy we can all be proud of: the U of S mourns the passing of Sylvia Fedoruk


University of Saskatchewan alumna, the Honourable Sylvia Fedoruk (BA’49, MA’50, LLD’06), a renowned medical physicist at the U of S, an outstanding athlete, one of the university’s 100 Alumni of Influence and the province’s first female lieutenant governor, passed away at her home in Saskatoon Sept. 26.

“Sylvia embodied what it meant to be a member of the U of S community—she was a renowned innovator, a proud alumna, a community leader in every sense of the term, and a tireless booster of the University of Saskatchewan,” said Ilene Busch-Vishniac, U of S president.

In 1986, Sylvia became the first female chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan, and went on to serve on both the University Senate and the Board of Governors. She became Saskatchewan’s 17th Lieutenant Governor in 1988—the first female to serve in that role.

Sylvia Fedoruk was also a longtime donor to the University of Saskatchewan, supporting countless students in their pursuit of higher education through the Fedoruk Family Fund.

Born in Canora, Saskatchewan in 1927, Sylvia (BA’49, MA’50, LLD’06) was the only woman conducting medical-physics research in Canada over 60 years ago. She was a member of a four-person team at the U of S that invented the cobalt-60 unit—commonly known as the “Cobalt Bomb”—the world’s first radiation machine using high-intensity radioactive cobalt for cancer treatment in humans. Since then, thousands of Canadian cobalt-60 units have been used to treat millions of cancer patients worldwide.

During her time as a student at the U of S, Sylvia was a member of 12 intervarsity championship teams. She was co-captain of the Huskiette basketball team, played on the volleyball team, was on the golf team, and played goalie one year for the hockey team. More recently, she served as honorary chair for the Huskie Athletics Centennial Planning Committee.

The internationally acclaimed physicist served the Saskatchewan Cancer Foundation as chief medical physicist for 35 years.

Sylvia’s many recognitions include being made an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of at least three sports halls of fame, a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and she is listed as one of the university’s 100 Alumni of Influence.
U of S Chancellor Vera Pezer added, “Sylvia was a dear friend of mine for many years. I will miss her deeply, as will so many people at the U of S, in Saskatchewan, and among the medical, scientific and sporting communities. She was a special person and leaves a legacy we can all be proud of.”


Details on Fedoruk’s life and accomplishments,including video and photographs, can be found at http://news.usask.ca/2012/09/27/sylvia-fedoruk-mourned-at-u-of-s-and-across-the-province/