Inspiring students to follow their passions


This week students at the Saskatoon campus had a unique opportunity to learn from one of the city’s leading developers and philanthropists, Professor Emeritus Karim (Kay) Nasser. The event, which took place this past Wednesday in Place Riel, was the official launch for Dr. Nasser’s second book, How to Achieve Your Dreams.

By sharing on his own life experiences and the resulting path he took navigating his diverse career, Dr. Nasser hopes that this book will be a road map for success for students, inspiring them to achieve their personal and professional goals. He says, “It’s what I’ve learned in my life – my observations. I’m passing this on to students so they can hopefully learn from the experience of others.”
Born and raised in Lebanon, Dr. Nasser earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the American University in Beirut, his master’s degree in Kansas, and his PhD at the University of Saskatchewan, where he served as a professor of civil engineering for 33 years.

Dr. Nasser is well known in the city for his real estate developments around Saskatoon, including the River Landing Project. One of his many professional accomplishments is the invention of the K-Slump Tester, a device that easily tests the consistency, or slump, of concrete when it is poured, notably used in the construction of Toronto’s CN Tower in 1973 and still widely used today.

Nasser traces all of his professional achievements back to following his passions in life. “My life is an example,” he says. “I never stopped moving until I found what I was passionate about – teaching, education and research.”

He recommends that students who are searching for the right career first look to the subjects that they are most interested in first, emphasizing, “You can do anything you are passionate about. Do what you love to do and the money will follow.”
Dr. Nasser recognizes he would not be where he is today without the financial assistance of others. He and his family, wife Dora, and children, Selma, Mona, John, Roseann and May, are all proud alumni of the U of S, and are passionate about helping others achieve their educational goals.

As generous supporters of the U of S for over 45 years, they have donated close to $13 million to the University of Saskatchewan. These gifts have had far-reaching effects, as over 500 students have now benefited from the Nasser Awards Fund alone, since it was created in 1967.

How to Achieve Your Dreams is now available for sale in the U of S Bookstore, and online at Google Books. Proceeds from the book sales will go back to the U of S to support a newly created Emergency Fund for Students. Additionally, Dr. Nasser has generously committed to match all book sales to double the contributions to this new fund.

For more donor stories and news, visit give.usask.ca.