It was just four years ago that the University of Saskatchewan celebrated the centennial of its founding. Although it is a memory, it is one that will be etched in my mind—and the minds of many of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends—for a lifetime.
As the years pass, we will come to celebrate many more 100th anniversary milestones in the life of our university. We have already celebrated the College of Arts and Science’s centennial, and in the coming years we will commemorate the centennials of Huskie Athletics (2012), the Colleges of Engineering (2012), Agriculture and Bioresources (2012), Law (2012), and Pharmacy and Nutrition (2013), and the Edwards School of Business/College of Commerce (2014).
This spring, the hundredth University of Saskatchewan graduating class will become members of convocation. The class of 1912, our first graduating class, was modest in size with eight individuals. Our first alumni became war heroes, scholars, politicians and business people. They raised families and used their education to work the land and provide sustenance for a growing province, country and world. These men and women set the tone for a budding institution.
Since that first graduating class—the class that laid the first stone of a foundation of success—we have gathered many stories of successful graduates. Our alumni have built upon that foundation for 100 years now and continue to make a significant impact in almost every imaginable field and profession in every corner of the globe—each generation building upon the accomplishments of their forbearers.
This foundation of success has earned the U of S a reputation as a world leader in many areas, particularly in the areas of human, animal and plant sciences. Our campus physically displays that achievement in our facilities. We are establishing a nuclear research centre that will enable us to recapture our role as leaders in nuclear medicine, nuclear science and engineering, and new materials research. This will complement the work being done at the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s only synchrotron and one of the nation’s largest science facilities, and the Saskatchewan Research Council’s two existing reactors on campus. The Academic Health Sciences facility currently under construction represents an innovative and collaborative approach to the delivery of health science education and care—an approach that will equip students to provide better service as collaborative health professionals.
These are just two examples of the dynamic impact the U of S and our graduates will continue to have on our community. The accomplishments of our 100th graduating class are yet to be determined, but I have no doubt that they will continue to build upon the tradition of success that began with our first graduating class and help make the U of S an honoured place among the best.
Peter MacKinnon, President, University of Saskatchewan