Longtime USask supporter, alumna, donor and honorary ambassador Grit McCreath was installed as the University of Saskatchewan’s 16th chancellor at Fall Convocation on Nov. 13. (Photo: Dave Stobbe)

Grit McCreath: Energizing champions

When it comes to being an advocate for the University of Saskatchewan (USask), you won’t meet a more passionate supporter than Grit McCreath.

The university’s new chancellor and first honorary ambassador, McCreath has long been a proud promoter of her alma mater, with a relationship that has spanned more than 30 years since earning her Bachelor of Education degree at USask in 1991. In fact, McCreath’s connection to campus goes back much further than that.

“My parents were academics in Europe and when we came to Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan … my parents were always students and I was always hanging out on the campus waiting for them to go to class or come out of class, so the university is definitely in my DNA,” she said.

In addition to her chancellor and honorary ambassador roles for the university, McCreath has served on the Senate and the Board of Governors, has chaired the human resources committee and has been a member of the land and facilities, and audit committees. The McCreath family has also created a scholarship for Indigenous students attending USask’s Edwards School of Business. Grit serves as an advisor for the College of Education, with Grit and her husband Scott recently funding a new state-of-the-art Active Learning Classroom.

For McCreath, engaging and activating alumni—now totalling 159,000 world-wide—as well as donors and other stakeholders, is her favourite way to share the story of the success of USask.

“I think it is just such a huge motivator for students to hear the stories of the alumni from this university,” said McCreath. “Every single college has amazing stories that they can share and tell and then in turn the alumni can be the ambassadors for the university and share those stories all the way down the line. Once you talk to people who have graduated from this university and you hear what they’ve done and you share what’s happening on campus, I think it’s just such an automatic response to want to be part of that excitement.”

After graduating from USask, McCreath went on to spend 32 years as an educator, serving as a teacher and an administrator, in Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. With her new roles as chancellor and honorary ambassador, she has come full circle with USask, proudly supporting the university that has meant so much to her, in her home province.

“I think there is something extremely unique about students and alumni from this province,” said McCreath, who was officially installed as USask’s 16th chancellor at Fall Convocation on Nov. 13 at Merlis Belsher Place. “We have common roots, wonderful work ethic, a sense of community, and there is a kind of humbleness about the people that graduate from this university. And I need to reiterate again just that amazing sense of pride. We are University of Saskatchewan proud.”

The University the World Needs

People of the plan

The University of Saskatchewan’s new seven-year plan through to 2025 is titled The University the World Needs and has been gifted the Indigenous names nīkānītān manācihitowinihk (Cree) and ni manachīhitoonaan (Michif), which translate to “Let us lead with respect.” In each issue of On Campus News in 2019, we will take a look at the 12 major goals of the new plan by profiling individuals involved in the university’s commitment to Courageous Curiosity, Boundless Collaboration and Inspired Communities. 

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