Your support keeps students in the game

When he isn’t on the football field, you can find Jesse Gordon analyzing space missions, contemplating synchrotron physics, and experimenting with solar cells. At times, his academic and athletic schedule bleed into one another. He will study until the early hours of the morning in the library, grab a few hours of sleep, and return to campus to board the game bus with his teammates, off to another province to represent the U of S Huskies. “Despite the sacrifices, it has been worth it,” Jesse asserts.

Jesse Gordon, engineering physics student and former Huskie athlete. David Stobbe /

Since he was 18 years old, Jesse knew with certainty these two things:

  1. He wanted to play football.
  2. He wanted to pursue a higher education.

When he was offered a spot on the Huskies football team, he was overjoyed. He recognized it would be difficult to balance a demanding athletic schedule while pursuing a degree in engineering physics, but his competitive nature and motto– that hard work pays off in the end–  had him moving forward at a fast and furious pace.

This pace would successfully propel him through four years of schooling, until recently when everything came to a stop.

Jesse suddenly found himself sidelined from his motto and the game he adored. He had developed a serious hip injury and would require surgery, with extensive physiotherapy to follow. Physiotherapy would be required during the summer, which would interfere with taking a full-time job to help pay for his schooling. He would have to choose between his health and education.

Fortunately, Jesse never had to make this choice, thanks to the Ruth and Eber Pollard Scholarship.

“When I received news that I was the recipient of this amazing scholarship, I made the decision to take a class over summer so that I would have time to rehab my hip,” said Jesse.

That class was paid for by the Pollard’s support, and gave Jesse reassurance that hard work does pay off. “To be recognized for your hard work and know that people believe in you is a feeling like no other,” he says.

“This is the beauty of giving. No matter what the recipient is going through, the support of receiving an award can only bring about positive change. For that I would like to thank the Pollards and all other university donors for their inspiring generosity.”

Jesse is now looking to the future and where his education might take him. For Jesse, hard work, dedication and passion will always fuel a person forward in life. He likes to think that Ruth and Eber Pollard stepped in at the perfect time to remind him of this—it’s how you play the game.

Jesse Gordon in the lab, creating solar cells for research purposes

If you would like to support students’ ambitions through a gift in your Will, please contact:
Bev Cooper
Gift Planning, University Relations
306-966-2416 or 1-800-699-1907 

Home Ice volunteer, Dell Chapman

“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.”

Dell Chapman (right) with President Peter Stoicheff (left) in Rutherford Rink.

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

Campaign for Students: The places we will go

This year’s 2017-18 Campaign for Students: The places we will go, stations you alongside our dedicated students as they strive to make their mark on this world. Where can a U of S education take you? How far can you go? Your donation to Campaign for Students provides opportunities through scholarships and bursaries for students who are passionate about making a difference through their studies.

Nadia Philipenko, a Master of Physical Therapy student in the College of Medicine, is one of many students who have been a recipient of awards funded through the Campaign for Students.

“These student awards have motivated me to remain involved, and encourage me to continually strive for excellence.These gifts have allowed me to focus and dedicate myself to my academic endeavors, volunteer work, and to allow time to be spent with my loved ones.”

Nadia Philipenko is thankful for the donor support she has received during her education. She is looking forward to having a career where she can make a difference on an individual level, helping patients get back to what they love to do.  David Stobbe /

Your donation to the Campaign for Students ensures that students like Nadia are not on their academic journey alone. Through the Campaign for Studentsyour support eases the burden of tuition, books and living expenses when there’s no time for part-time jobs. Your encouragement teaches them the value of philanthropy because they feel the impact.

“I feel it is important for students graduating to know that they have the support from the community and alumni. Facilitation of these relationships contributes to the maintenance of excellence within the school as well as out in the community. Once I graduate, I look forward to making an impact here in Saskatoon, and also in rural communities in Saskatchewan where our services are less accessible, but needed,” says Nadia.

There are several ways to contribute to the Campaign for Students, including donations to specific colleges, funds, University Library, Huskie Athletics, and more.

Giving is easy, convenient, and any donation – regardless of the amount – has a lasting impact on U of S students.

The Campaign for Students runs until April 30, 2018. Please visit for more information on how to give.

Foundation support allows brightest students to shine

Regan Wilson (left) and Kinga Nolan are the recipients of the 2017 Schulich Leadership Scholarships.

Regan Wilson and Kinga Nolan are the latest University of Saskatchewan students to be awarded Schulich Leader Scholarships.

Canadian businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich created the scholarship program in 2011, providing entrance awards for high school graduates enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at participating Canadian universities.

This year, there were more than 1,300 Schulich Leader Nominees from across Canada vying for 50 scholarships, valued at up to $100,000 each. Wilson and Nolan have joined the ranks of over 270 students who received this scholarship to date.

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$16.6 million to U of S researchers for work with Mozambique partners

University of Saskatchewan researchers have been awarded $16.6 million by Global Affairs Canada to work with Mozambique partners on improving the health and lives of 165,000 Mozambican women of child-bearing age and 23,000 newborns.

This major training and research project, which is six years in length, aims to create conditions in Mozambique that will reduce maternal deaths by improving health services for women and tackling gender barriers that prevent them from accessing effective care.

Latest available United Nations statistics show Mozambique had one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates at 489 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015—nearly 70 times higher than Canada’s rate of seven per 100,000.

“This transformative initiative addresses a great tragedy and demonstrates our university’s ongoing commitment to global citizenship and international community service through research,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president Research. “This community-engaged project will also provide an extremely valuable international learning experience for our students.” Continue reading

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

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