“Once a Huskie, always a Huskie” is not just a motto for University of Saskatchewan athletes; it’s a way of life for Dell Chapman (BCOMM’81).
“My days at the U of S were some of the most rewarding and fun times of my life,” Dell says. “The hockey part was particularly rewarding, as over a three-year period we went from a bit of a sad team to national finalists. I’ve been a ‘dyed-in-the-wool’ Dog ever since.”
After leaving the U of S, Dell began a long and successful career as a chartered accountant and certified financial analyst, specializing in the oil and gas industry in Alberta. He and his wife, Claudette, started a family in Calgary, raising two children, Allistair and Lowell. Dell and Claudette met in the halls of Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon, and have over 37 years of marriage to celebrate. With strong ties to Saskatoon, the family calls both Prairie Provinces home.
Even though he and many of his teammates left Saskatoon after graduation, Dell was determined to keep the team threaded together. Despite being kept busy by his family, friends and work commitments, Dell carved out time to spearhead a number of alumni events in Calgary.
“In the early days we used to get a number of alumni from Saskatoon who would come out for a golf tournament and alumni hockey game because they didn’t have their own. I bug the boys in Saskatoon that the Calgary group was the first to have both,” he says jokingly.
When serious discussions of a new facility for the Huskies began, it was only natural that Dell was recruited to help rally Huskie alumni in Calgary. The Home Ice campaign went on to become the most successful volunteer-driven fundraising campaign in the university’s history raising an astonishing $29 million. This was largely due to dedicated volunteers like Dell, who put together and co-chaired a successful Alberta committee with Marlowe Allison. Dell is quick to give enormous credit and gratitude to those on his fundraising team in Calgary.
“Easily the most rewarding part of the campaign was when I reached out to the individuals in Calgary to join the fundraising efforts,” he recalls. “There was no hesitation when asked to join. Each team member personally committed their time and made efforts to reach out personally to many of their contacts in Calgary and beyond.”
Dell’s Huskie pride is as strong as ever. Now that construction has begun on Merlis Belsher Place, he is excited for hockey fans young and old to enjoy the benefits of what Huskie alumni have worked so hard to build.
“I see it becoming the center of hockey excellence in the province,” he says. “What better place for hockey minds to gather and progress the game.”
Written by Lindsay Royale