USask set to welcome alumni back to campus

It’s time to come home to the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

That’s USask’s message to its family of graduates—now numbering more than 155,000 worldwide—for the annual Alumni Weekend on Sept. 20-21.

“Alumni Weekend is a great time for alumni and friends to come back to campus and connect with their roots,” said Trevor Nerdahl, USask’s manager of Alumni Engagement. “It gives our alumni a chance to see how the institution has grown and see where it is headed.”

A number of fun and interesting events are scheduled for this year’s return to campus.

Starting Friday night (Sept. 20), the Prairie Lily has been booked for a USask alumni dinner cruise and will ferry passengers up and down the picturesque South Saskatchewan River to take in the changing colour of the leaves while enjoying the fellowship of fellow graduates. Registration is $52, with limited seating capacity available by booking online.

If you can’t go on the Prairie Lily boat tour, be sure to get up early Saturday (Sept. 21) and attend the breakfast ($10) and USask talk being held at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites. Scheduled from 9-11 am, guests will have the opportunity to listen to Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM), the director and CEO of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) at USask, as well as Kylee Drever, a Master of Science student. Gerdts will deliver a presentation on emerging diseases and the need to prepare vaccines, while Drever will talk about her research on tuberculosis.

“This is a great chance to learn about the world-class research that is happening on campus,” said Nerdahl. “We are extremely fortunate that Volker Gerdts will be able to shed some light on what intriguing work is happening at VIDO-InterVac. There are many people unaware of some of the interesting world-class research taking place in our own city.”

The Golden Grads ceremony was one of the highlights of the 2018 Alumni Weekend at USask. (Photo: Submitted)

A new event planned for the weekend is the USask FestiBowl, which is open to all alumni and friends. It will feature campus partners, local businesses, cultural presentations and more. Local food trucks will be out in full force, a bouncy castle will be on site, along with face painting, balloon animals and Howler, the USask mascot, prowling around the Bowl.

In celebration of the United Nations declaration of 2019 being the International Year of Indigenous Languages, FestiBowl will also feature cultural performances by College of Education alumni from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and the Indian Teacher Education Program.

One of the highlights of Alumni Weekend is the Golden Grads ceremony taking place Sept. 21 at 2 pm in Convocation Hall, celebrating alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago. They will be encouraged to walk across the stage once again and receive a special Golden Grad pin.

There is also an Alumni Weekend reception scheduled for Sept. 21 at 4 pm in the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, wrapping up a wonderful opportunity for alumni members to return to their university roots and catch up with old friends.

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