Distinguished alumnus Nasser to receive U of S honorary doctorate

SASKATOON – Karim (Kay) Nasser is well-known as one of the city’s leading property developers and philanthropists and a passionate long-time supporter of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

The U of S will celebrate his many achievements and his extraordinary five-decade association with the university when he is presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science during the Fall Convocation ceremonies at TCU Place on October 22. For Nasser, who earned his PhD and taught civil engineering at the U of S for 33 years (1961-1994), it will be one of his proudest moments.

“It is a great honour,” said Nasser. “I was very happy being at the university because I could teach, I could do research and I could be around students who were really keen and they wanted to learn and that gave me so much pleasure.”

Over the past 49 years, the Nasser family—Kay, his wife Dora, and their children John, May, Mona, Roseann and Selma, all U of S alumni—has donated more than $13.5 million to the U of S, including a record one-time gift of $12 million in 2010.

“Kay Nasser and the Nasser family have long been amongst our most generous supporters and we are honoured to have this opportunity to recognize all that they have done for the University of Saskatchewan,” said U of S president Peter Stoicheff. “He followed an exemplary 33-year teaching career in the College of Engineering by creating student scholarships to help future generations become part of our campus community. And we look forward to celebrating his special association with the university and are proud to have him take part in our Fall Convocation ceremony.”

The Nassers are well-known for supporting a wide variety of community institutions, from the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Public Library, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and all four city hospitals, including the new Children’s Hospital. The family also continues to contribute to the U of S every year through The Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust and the Nasser Scholarship Fund, which has helped more than 500 students over the years.

“It means a lot to me to help people who can’t afford university and I wanted to make sure that I would be ready to help anyone who really is keen about getting an education,” said Nasser, who was a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour, in 2011. “We are all living together in our community and we have to give back to our community and as far as I am concerned, if one is able to help, it is very important that we do it, each one according to their abilities.”

Born and raised in Lebanon, Nasser earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the American University of Beirut, his master’s degree at the University of Kansas and his PhD at the U of S (1965).

Nasser’s research at the U of S included developing the K-Slump Tester, first used in the construction of Toronto’s CN Tower in 1973 to measure the consistency of a batch of poured concrete, with Nasser donating royalties from that invention to the U of S. Among his numerous other achievements, Nasser also led a U of S research project with graduate students in 1997 that developed technology used in Saskatchewan’s largest concrete batch plant at a northern mine complex.

Nasser will be honoured during the morning convocation ceremony at TCU Place (9 am) on October 22.

For the full convocation schedule, see: https://students.usask.ca/events/fall-convocation.php#Program


University of Saskatchewan:
Established in 1907, the University of Saskatchewan has a long history of excellence. We are a member of the U15 group of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, offering unique facilities such as the Canadian Light Source, VIDO-InterVac and the Global Institute for Water Security. The university is committed to First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success and to welcoming diverse perspectives and ways of knowing, both from across Saskatchewan and around the world.


For more information, contact:

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan

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