Members of the university’s Greystone Circle were treated to their annual appreciation event on June 6 at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. The society of 345 members, including many U of S alumni, originated in the early 1990’s and honours donors who have pledged estate gifts to the university and its students. The spring event is a chance for the university to celebrate the donors and their commitment to the U of S and give members a chance to connect with each other.
Attendees were treated to a drumming and dance performance by Buffalo Boy productions. The First Nations dance company showcases traditional song and dances of Saskatchewan’s Cree, Dene, Nakawe, Dakota, Nakota and Lakota people, and enthralled the crowd with their high-energy act.
Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer, the circle’s patron member and host for the event, spoke about the importance of this annual event where members share their stories with each other about why they give back. Dr. Pezer spoke of the common bond that brings Greystone Circle members together, and said, “We all have a desire to see the university continue to welcome students, provide opportunities for people like your children and grandchildren, and help improve our communities through teaching and research.” Dr. Pezer also welcomed 17 new members to the circle, and paid tribute to those members who had passed away in the last year.
University president Peter Stoicheff spoke to the Greystone Circle members for his first time since taking office late last year. He reminisced about what the university was like 30 years ago, when he first started as a faculty member in the English department, and what he now sees for the future of the institution—a bright future where the university is a research leader in Saskatchewan and Canada, contributing to growth and opportunity for our communities.
Each year the Greystone Circle members hear from a current student who has benefitted from an estate gift. This year Olivia Carolan, a second-year animal biosciences student in the College of Agriculture & Bioresources, was selected to speak to the group—via video, as she had already returned home to her family for the summer break.
Originally from south-west England, Olivia came to the University of Saskatchewan on a scholarship funded by an estate gift with the hopes of becoming a veterinarian. She said, “Without receiving this award, I would not be where I am today. I am able to study at a university competing with an international presence because of my bursary.” Olivia not only thanked the family of the donor that funded her bursary, but expressed her appreciation for all Greystone Circle members who plan to make a gift in their Will. She added, “Donors graciously open the door to many more life changing opportunities, and for that I am forever grateful.”
If you’d like information about planning a charitable gift in your Will and becoming a Greystone Circle donor, please contact Bev Cooper, Associate Director of Development (Charitable Gift Planning) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-966-2416
Written by Jessica Elfar