The Huskies football team honoured two special guests at their Friday night game this past week – Ron and Jane Graham. The Grahams were instrumental in establishing the new Graham Huskie Clubhouse in 2010 to ensure that the Huskies had every advantage, both on and off the field.
The Graham’s investment in the Huskies stems from their experiences as students at the University of Saskatchewan. Ron studied engineering and played quarterback for the Huskies football team, while Jane studied education, and was actively involved in swimming and fencing. Upon graduation in 1962, Ron began a general contracting business which he developed into the Graham Group of Companies.
The Graham family has given close to $6 million to the university, investing in Huskie Athletics, countless scholarships and facilities like the Ron and Jane Graham Centre for the Study of Communication in the College of Engineering. In 2006, Ron and Jane financed a new clubhouse for the Huskies football team at Griffiths Stadium featuring lockers, meeting and office rooms, laundry facilities and ticket windows. In 2010, they donated to expand on the clubhouse to help provide more meeting rooms and a workout facility for the football team. The centre is named the Graham Huskie Clubhouse to also acknowledge Ron’s father, Peter, who played Huskies basketball and football in the 1930s.
Former Huskie football player Tony Michalchuk was on hand to personally thank the Grahams for their generous donation, and spoke about his own experience using the clubhouse. He noted that the improvements to the locker room and the weight room facilities made an incredible difference to his team on a daily basis. He also spoke of the impact that the new facility has had on the Huskies’ football team. He commented, “Of course, it is not just this physical space but also the meaning and intention behind this investment – that Huskie athletes are supported and encouraged to succeed in every way.”
Also in attendance was longtime university and Huskies’ supporter, David Dubé. Dubé and Heather Ryan partnered with the Grahams and the university to see the Graham Huskie Clubhouse become a reality. Specifically, the couple donated over $160,000 in training equipment and furnishings for the expanded facility, and the result is beautiful, world-class football facility.
The program ended with the unveiling of a special plaque created to honour the Graham’s significant commitment to the Huskies. Afterwards the attendees all stayed to cheer on their favourite team, as the Huskies beat UBC 52-24.
(Top: Jane and Ron Graham)
(Bottom: Adam Baxter-Jones, Associate Dean, College of Kinesiology and Ron Graham)