Alumni banquet biggest ever
Humanitarianism was the theme of the U of S Alumni Association’s annual Celebrating Our Successes banquet and ceremony Oct. 13 at which 10 outstanding alumni were recognized with awards.
The event has grown rapidly – from a small gathering of people for a tea four years ago in Marquis Hall, to this year’s gala celebration attended by 250 people. Alumni, award-winners, members of their families, and a variety of officials – including Learning Minister Andrew Thomson and Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Grand Chief Gary Merasty – attended the ceremony.
Three sisters and alumna were featured this year. Dr. Marie Skinnider (MD’87), Eileen Skinnider (LLB’87) and Kathleen Skinnider (BScN’91) are all active in the organization Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and they received the Alumni Humanitarian Award for their service in challenging places around the world, including Afghanistan, Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Russia, Uzbekistan and Eritrea.
Marie and Eileen Skinnider delivered the keynote speech at the banquet, telling the audience about their experiences helping people in areas devastated by poverty, famine, and civil unrest.
The other awards presented were:
• Alumni Award of Achievement to Bryan Harvey (BSA’60, MSc’61, PhD’64), an internationally known scientist and barley breeder.
• Alumni Honour Award to Tania Miller (BMusEd’91), the director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the youngest person currently holding such a position with a Canadian orchestra.
• Alumni Service Award to Catherine Gryba (BSPE’84), catalyst in the development of a number of initiatives in the College of Kinesiology, like the Huskie Salute and the University Cup.
• Alumni Mentorship Award to Margaret Crossley (BA’82, MA’84, PhD’89), a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and an advocate for the mentorship of students.
• Outstanding Young Alumni Award to Amit Gupta (BE(EE)’99, BSc’99), co-founder of Analog Design Automation Inc. and a mentor to students interested in entrepreneurship.
• The new Alumni Excellence in Aboriginal Initiatives Award to Orest Murawsky (BA’71, Bed’74, MEduc’75), director of the U of S Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for almost 30 years.
• Honorary Alumni Member to Howard Nixon, O.C., P.E.D., former coach, instructor and the first dean of the College of Physical Education, now the College of Kinesiology.