Couple donates $5.9M to University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan received another substantial donation from alumni Ron and Jane Graham on Thursday; $5.9 million to be split into different four different organizations.
Three million will be going towards Huskie Athletics; an even split between the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the football team, while $1 million is earmarked for the College of Education, $1 million will go to the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), and $900,000 is for the College of Engineering.
“It's enormous,” said university president Peter Stoicheff. “The Grahams are very visionary in their giving, they do a lot of research and homework beforehand to try to understand where their support can best be used.”
The university says the Grahams are the largest cumulative alumni donors in the university's history, previously making donations towards scholarships, facilities, and programming.
“There just always seems to be more needs, and more things we think that are important on the campus,” said Jane Graham.
For Huskie Athletics, the university says the funding will be used for innovative equipment and technology, coaching support, and exploring new travel opportunities for competition and skill development, as well as scholarships.
The donation to the College of Engineering will help to develop the RE-ENGINEERED program to help first-year students succeed.
“For me that was a huge home run,” said Ron Graham, a College of Engineering alumnus. “When I started we sat down for orientation and they said, 'Look to your left, look to your right. Two of the three of you will not graduate in engineering, you'll leave for some reason or another.'”
The university says the donation to VIDO will help it become Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research, and funds for the College of Education will go towards the Jane and Ron Graham Centre for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.