Spafford a part of Huskies legacy

Former hockey captain Dr. Peter Spafford contributes $100,000 to Home Ice Campaign

Captain Peter Spafford (front row, third from right) with the 1987-88 men’s Huskies hockey team

Being a University of Saskatchewan alum is practically tradition for the Spafford family. The late Duff Spafford left a legacy at the U of S both as an alumnus and as a dedicated community member and Professor Emeritus of Political Studies. Keeping with tradition, his son, Dr. Peter Spafford, not only received his education from the U of S, but has spent much of his professional career educating others.

Dr. Peter Spafford graduated from the College of Medicine at the U of S in 1987, and has gone on to have a successful practice in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery. He has been the head of the Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the U of S for more than two decades, and also served as the president of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

The next generation of Spaffords are keen to carry on the U of S tradition. Spafford’s daughter, Megan Spafford, is currently studying at the College of Medicine, and his son Matt Spafford (B.Comm ’16) recently graduated as a fifth-year player on the men’s Huskies hockey team in 2016.

Dr. Spafford beams with pride at being one of the few father-son duos to both play Huskies hockey, having himself captained the team in the ‘80s. He led the squad to a silver medal at the national championships in 1987, and says his time as a student athlete helped instill his work ethic and left him with a lasting network of friends.

“If I was going to be a good medical student I had to retain everything so that I could keep up my academics while balancing being an athlete – that was a valuable life lesson,” Spafford says. “Coach Dave King was very inspiring to me because he instilled that my pursuit of medicine was just as important as hockey.”

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Alumni appointed to the Order of Canada

Dr. Kay Nasser  (Photo: Liam Richards)

Two U of S alumni have received one of the country’s highest civilian honours by being appointed to the Order of Canada.

Karim (Kay) Nasser and Harold Orr were recently appointed to the Order, which recognizes Canadians for their outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Nasser, who earned his PhD and taught civil engineering at the U of S for 33 years, is a passionate long-time supporter of the university. His appointment to the Order is in honor of his contributions to civil engineering and community development, and for his philanthropy in support of education, health care and the arts.

Nasser and his family have donated more than $13.5 million to the U of S, and continue to support students annually through The Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust and the Nasser Scholarship Fund, which has helped hundreds of students over the years.

In addition to his support of the U of S, Nasser has been a pillar in supporting various community institutions from the Remai Modern Art Gallery, Saskatoon Public Library, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and all four city hospitals, including the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

Alumnus Harold Orr received both a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, and a Master of Science from the U of S, and is known as a pioneer of energy-efficient home building in Canada. His research led to the concept of passive solar design, which allows homes to retain heat from the sun through structural design. Orr’s appointment to the Order is in recognition of his contributions as a housing engineer who promotes energy efficiency and conservation in Canadian homes.

Making a donation before year’s end?

To be eligible for a 2017 tax receipt, the University of Saskatchewan must receive your donation on or before December 31, 2017.

Although the university will be closed between December 25 and January 1, 2018, there are three ways you can still make your donation this holiday season:

  1. Call us at (306) 966-5186 or 1-800-699-1907 (Toll Free) and leave a phone number to which a member of our staff can call you back within 24 hours. Please do not leave credit card information on voice mail or in an email. We request you use our secure online site instead. If you would like to make a donation of securities, please contact us.
  2. Give online with a credit card
  3. Print out our  donation form and mail it to University Relations. Please note that your envelope must be postmarked on or before December 31st to qualify for a tax-deductible receipt for 2017.

Thank you for your support. Happy holidays!

New donor-funded dentistry clinic open for business

Drs. Steve Arcand and Marina Jones at Clinic 120.

The campus community has a new reason to smile, as Clinic 120—the College of Dentistry’s new general practice residency clinic—is officially open.

The clinic, which began taking patients in September, has three treatment rooms and is loaded with some of the newest and most modern dental technology available.

While the clinic is part of the College of Dentistry, it’s not to be confused with the Dental Education Clinic where U of S students practice under supervision.

“It’s not a student clinic. They’re licensed dentists who are skilled just like anybody else in the community,” said Dr. Mohan Teekasingh, who is the director of the graduate program. He said the clinic is a valuable resource for the campus community, and is eager to see more people take advantage of it. Continue reading

A&W Canada invests in U of S research centre

President Peter Stoicheff and Deans Doug Freeman (veterinary medicine) and Mary Buhr (agriculture and bioresources), alongside A&W representatives Susan Senecal (incoming president and CEO), Jefferson Mooney (chairman emeritus) and Trish Sahlstrom (senior vice-president and chief commercial officer).

A&W Canada has made a substantial investment in the Canadian beef industry with a $5-million donation toward the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

The LFCE will be a multisite, multi-disciplinary research centre that focuses on the livestock production chain including forage, cow-calf, beef cattle production and environmental research.

“A&W is deeply committed to the Canadian beef and forage industry,” said Jefferson Mooney, chairman emeritus, A&W. “Our investment is an investment in the future of Canadian food and best practices to make that food.”

The donation will be used to fund the construction of the Livestock and Food Building at the LFCE site near Clavet, Sask., create a community outreach and engagement program, and to establish a visiting fellowship in One Health research. Continue reading

Support for Home Ice extends to Calgary

Our Home Ice community extends well beyond the U of S campus! We had a great time in Calgary getting together and saying thank you to more than 70 alumni, donors and volunteers who supported the Home Ice Campaign! Thank you again for your tireless work in helping make Merlis Belsher Place a reality.

 

Late Huskie’s legacy to live on in Merlis Belsher Place

Members of the Smuk and Ditlove families join together at the Inland Steel Products site in Saskatoon (photo by David Stobbe).

Hanging proudly above the ice in Rutherford Rink, a banner reads, “We all play the Cody Smuk way.”

It’s one of the many tributes to the late University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey player, who lost his battle with testicular cancer in 2015. As the Huskies play their final season in the arena, a local business is making sure that Smuk’s legacy lives on when the team begins a new chapter and moves into Merlis Belsher Place next year.

Inland Steel Products, a scrap metal recycling company servicing Saskatchewan, has contributed $150,000 to the Home Ice campaign to create Smuker’s Lounge in Merlis Belsher Place, a gathering spot for players, alumni and friends of Smuk’s to reminisce while cheering on the Huskies. Continue reading

Hockey Canada Foundation invests in Merlis Belsher Place

On Thursday, October 5, the hockey community came together at the site of Saskatoon’s soon-to-be newest multi-sport facility to celebrate a significant investment back into local sport.

The Hockey Canada Foundation announced that Merlis Belsher Place will be one of four provincial hockey initiatives to receive funds raised through its largest annual fundraiser – the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf event held in Saskatoon earlier this year.

A total of $83,272 will go towards construction of Merlis Belsher Place, with $40,000 designated specifically to accommodate the facility for sledge hockey, making it the first sledge-friendly arena in Saskatoon.

“The fact that Merlis Belsher Place will accommodate sledge hockey shows the incredible versatility and importance of this facility in its commitment to the great game of hockey,” said Huskies Chief Athletics Officer, Shawn Burt. “The Canadian sledge hockey team are reigning Olympic gold medalists, and we look forward to the many opportunities this facility will offer to develop world-class athletes and grow the sport here in our own community.” Continue reading

Ushering in a new era with Home Ice

With a new era of hockey on the horizon, alumni Kerry (BCOMM’85) and Bonnie Preete (BSPE’82; BED’84) reflect fondly on their memories of playing with the Huskies.

Kerry Preete, top row, fifth from left, with the Huskie’s mens hockey team in 1983.

Both were student athletes while they attended the U of S – Bonnie playing with the Huskiettes from 1979-1982, while Kerry joined the men’s hockey team in 1980. It was a turning point for the men’s team in particular, as new coach Dave King propelled them to the final game of the University Cup three years in a row.  But it wasn’t until 1983 that the team was finally victorious, having lost in the championship game during the first two runs. Kerry explained that the roller coaster of emotions that the team shared during those years helped build the foundations of friendship with his teammates that, nearly four decades later, remain today.

“I think we had something special going on,” Kerry said. “Maybe part of that was forged by being so successful as a group over those three or four years and coming really close twice, and then to end up winning, it added an extra something special to the relationship and to the bond that all of us had.”

The Preete’s relocated to St. Louis, Missouri nearly 20 years ago, where Kerry has assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Monsanto. He says much of his professional success can be attributed back to the lessons and values he learned as a Huskie.

“I look back and I see what playing in that program did for me personally, in terms of some of the life lessons that I learned from playing the game at that level, the things I learned from extremely successful teammates, and from Dave King, who was a mentor to all of us,” Kerry said.

Bonnie and Kerry Preete

The Preete’s have stayed connected to hockey in St. Louis, spending hours at the rink cheering on their three sons with Kerry acting as a coach.  Watching their boys grow up with the game and having been players themselves, Bonnie and Kerry know how important a good facility is to building a strong program.

“In order to have strong sports team you need good facilities,” Bonnie said. “I think a new rink facility for the U of S and the Huskies is long overdue.”

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Heroic blue heeler back in the field thanks to donor support

Dwane McLaren calls his dog Jango a “firecracker.”

The three-year-old blue heeler is an expert cattle herder, and when McLaren found himself cornered by 14 angry bulls, Jango came to his rescue.

Jango outside the WCVM after his final appointment after surgery (photo by Jeanette Neufeld).

The small dog took on the bulls, and Jango didn’t stop protecting McLaren even after suffering a broken jaw.

“The bulls were 2,200 pounds — and he’s 40,” says McLaren, who hauls cattle for a living. “One [bull] decided he didn’t like me very much, and he started coming after me … [Jango] grabbed onto the back of his ankle and distracted him enough that I could get over the fence.”

McLaren says he’s amazed at Jango’s protective nature.

“For him to know to come and do that — I didn’t call him or anything. The natural instinct to help in a dog is unbelievable,” he says.

After a three-hour struggle, McLaren finally got the bulls loaded in his semi-trailer. That’s when he noticed Jango was bleeding from his mouth. Despite being injured, the dog hadn’t stopped helping his owner the entire time.

“He’s tougher than nails, this fellow,” he says of his dog. Continue reading

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