Supporting Students

The fifth and final phase of the successful Preston Crossing development is nearing completion, with 15 new tenants opening their doors this year to bring the major shopping centre to a total of 40 stores, services and restaurants on the 70-acre parcel of land owned by the U of S. Lease arrangements with the developer have generated more than $17 million for student scholarships, bursaries and initiatives.

The University of Saskatchewan’s partnership with one of Saskatoon’s premier shopping centres is paying big dividends for U of S students.

“We think it has been really successful,” said Judy Yungwirth, U of S director of corporate admin istration. “When we started, our vision was to leverage the value of our land to generate revenue for priorities of the university. Student scholarships were identified as a priority at the time. It has exceeded our financial expectations and it’s become a hugely successful shopping centre.”
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Home Ice volunteer, Bruce Bradshaw

For Bruce Bradshaw (BSPE’83; BED’85), staying connected to his alma mater has always been a priority. Having recently retired from his 31 year career with the Saskatoon Public School Division, he attributes his success to his time spent at the U of S. “I am very grateful for all of the doors that have been opened thanks to my U of S experience and education,” he says. “I want to give back to my roots– it all goes back to where you start.”

In addition to a successful career, Bruce has built many meaningful relationships because of the time he spent at the U of S. He met his future wife, Kathy, when he was a student in a physical education class. The couple both graduated with Education degrees, with Kathy returning to campus years later to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA’05).

Bruce Bradshaw (left) prepares to sign a historic piece of Rutherford Rink with Peter Stoicheff (right) looking on. A celebration was held at the University Club for volunteers of the Home Ice Campaign honouring the success of the $29-million campaign.

Off campus, both have remained active community members, and enjoy volunteering to make Saskatoon a better city in which to live. The couple has also been busy at home with their three sons, all of whom are active and enjoy sports – and all of whom were coached by their father in Minor League Hockey.

Of course, hockey has always been a central part of Bruce’s life. He played in small town Saskatchewan as a kid, and would go on to play Huskie hockey for 5 years as a student. With his strong connection to the Huskies and philanthropic nature, Bruce was a welcome addition to the Home Ice Campaign committee. Sitting across from him at meetings would be a number of familiar faces: his former Huskie’s hockey coach, Dave King, past teammates, and many friends within the community. Together, they would set the tone for the $29-million dollar campaign by contacting alumni and members of the community to introduce them to the project. The campaign would go on to be active across Canada – from Toronto to BC – becoming one of the most successful volunteer-driven campaigns in the university’s history.

Bruce has many wonderful memories of Rutherford Rink, but is looking forward to an updated state-of-the-art facility.

Bruce’s experience with this extraordinary campaign was filled with many highlights. He was honored to meet Merlis Belsher, the U of S graduate and donor he attributes to giving Home Ice the momentum it needed to accelerate successfully forward. He spent time with the city’s mayor, Charlie Clark, whose belief in, and support of the campaign, was critical to its success. But perhaps most meaningful for Bruce was the outpouring of support from Huskie alumni and fans. “The number of people who contacted me wanting to step up and contribute—be it $5 or $500— because they really believed in it, was touching,” he said.

Now that the campaign has reached its fundraising goal and construction has begun on Merlis Belsher Place, Bruce continues to be energized by the project. As a father and former coach, he is ecstatic that parents in the community will have shorter, safer travel times to practices and games. “Merlis Belsher Place will provide a gathering place where everyone can witness the level of play that youth sport hockey has in Saskatoon. It will bring in tourism and tournaments, and honour the Huskies with a facility that is on par with their immense talent,” he says.

Beyond that, Bruce is focused on the simple things that for him make hockey great. “Now, I’m most looking forward to having a comfortable chair to sit in and watch the games – maybe even with a cup holder attached,” he chuckles.

Building future leaders through sports

For the partners at McKercher LLP, the decision to support the Home Ice Campaign was an open and shut case. Not only are many of their lawyers and staff U of S graduates, but as a firm they are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of community leaders through sports.

“We view this as much more than a hockey rink,” says David Thera, Q.C., chair of McKercher’s executive committee. “Sport and team play provide opportunities to learn essential leadership skills. Our donation is an investment in our families, our practice, and our province as a whole.”

This is why McKercher LLP donated $500,000 to the Home Ice Campaign. Their generous contribution will be recognized by naming a VIP space within Merlis Belsher Place the McKercher LLP Trophy Lounge.

We are grateful for the support of businesses like McKercher LLP, and for their help in developing young athletes into future community leaders.

The gift of support through difficult times

For Kellie Wuttunee, family is everything. The University of Saskatchewan graduate credits the support of both her immediate and extended families for being able to achieve her challenging educational goals while also balancing the demands of being a single parent. She’s raising three children under the age of 13, all while obtaining two degrees—her master’s in social work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2012, and now a law degree from the U of S.

“The biggest challenge has been learning to manage my time and energy well,” Kellie said of the long road she’s travelled to get to her to her 2017 convocation. “There were some really tough times. My family, friends, culture and spirituality helped me and got me through it.”

Growing up an hour west of Saskatoon, on Red Pheasant First Nation, the Nêhiyawak Cree woman said she couldn’t imagine pursing her law degree anywhere but the University of Saskatchewan. “This is home for me—I wanted to be close to my family,” she noted. “My children have been by my side the entire process of obtaining my higher education.”

David Stobbe /

Kellie was also attracted to the Program of Legal Studies for Native People at the U of S. “It’s a one-of-a-kind program in Canada, and I was so grateful to be selected,” she said. The pre-law course provided her with a solid foundation for her Juris Doctor, a degree that holds a significant family connection. Her uncle William Wuttunee, who graduated from the U of S College of Law in 1952, was the first Cree lawyer to be called to the bar in Western Canada.
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The currency of coins

Tucked away, down a long stretch of corridor in the Peter MacKinnon building, is the Museum of Antiquities. Though small in size, the room is grand in its contributions. The museum aims to offer the public a “reliable and critical account of the artistic accomplishments of major Western civilizations and epochs from approximately 3000 BC to AD 1500,” ensuring that right here on campus, the past is present for examination.

On April 28, an exhibit created exclusively upon donations by Terence Cheesman, had people pressed against cabinet glass, hoping to travel back in time. NVMISMANIA—A Celebration of Ancient Coinage showcases a sampling of ancient coins. Terence is a generous supporter of the museum and a Numismatist by trade, having spent countless hours studying and collecting coins over the years.

The depictions on the coins offer a glimpse into the social and economic culture of the time. One coin, blueish green in colour—bruised with time—depicts an ear of grain. This is an ancient Celtic bronze coin from Ilipense, Spain, dating from 150-100 BCE. Grain, as it happens, was one of the commodities that this city was known for and took pride in at the time.

Featured in the exhibit, an ancient Celtic bronze coin from Ilipense, Spain, dating from 150-100 BCE.

Director of the museum, Tracene Harvey commented, “I like to imagine that if Saskatchewan minted its own coins, this is a coin image that would be most fitting for our province.”

Tracene is proud to note that the Museum of Antiquities has recently grown their coin collection, jumping from approximately 80 to around 460 coins. The majority of these artifacts have come from Terence’s personal collection. The museum uses the coin collection extensively for the purposes of teaching, experiential learning and research, including experiments conducted by U of S students at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Continue reading

Global implications for new GIFS scholarship

Dr. Patrick Man Pan Yuen was just a teenager when he came to Canada from Hong Kong to study, first as a high school student in Montreal before heading west to Saskatoon to study medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

Now, six decades later, Yuen still fondly remembers his time on campus and his mentor, Dr. Donald Baxter, and is giving back to his alma mater by establishing a major scholarship for graduate students at the U of S.

On June 1, the university announced Yuen’s gift of $1-million to establish a scholarship fund in the name of Baxter, to help graduate students from mainland China and Hong Kong study at the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).

“Throughout my medical career, I have come to the conclusion a medical doctor can really save relatively few of his patients in his lifetime,” Yuen said, “By offering to help set up research in increasing food production to combat hunger, far more lives can be saved. I cannot think of a better place in the world than the University of Saskatchewan in fulfilling my wishes.”

Dr. Man Pan Yuen graduated from the U of S College of Medicine in 1964. He will be forever grateful for his experience at the U of S, and his time with mentor, Dr. Donald Baxter.

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Building community, one game at a time

When Daphne Arnason and Leo Bourassa heard about the Home Ice Campaign, they knew they couldn’t watch from the bench.

Having raised four children who all played the sport, Daphne and Leo were no strangers to the sport and spent many late nights and early mornings traveling to practices, and cheering on their sons at Rutherford Rink. With much of their spare time dedicated to the game, they were thankful to be in the company of a supportive and growing social circle of likeminded families. The couple not only got to know their children’s friends and parents, but siblings, cousins, grandparents and friends of the families.

Leo Bourassa and Daphne Arnason first met on campus. Both were students and their social circle was built primarily around the U of S– hockey games at Rutherford, meeting friends at the campus pub, and enjoying various organized activities. Later in life as a married couple with four children, the couple would find themselves back on their old stomping grounds, spending many days and nights at their children’s hockey practice at Rutherford.

Even when the kids got older, the relationships they had built through hockey stayed strong.  “We missed the activities when they came to an end, but the connections are quickly rekindled when we run into one another at various events,” says Daphne. “Now we can talk about enjoying the comforts of a new facility, as we follow the next generation – our grandchildren – at play.”

For Daphne and Leo, Merlis Belsher Place will not only be a state-of-the-art, multi-sport facility, but a space where relationships within our community can expand and flourish for years to come.