The College of Arts and Science has proven the worth of an arts degree with the announcement of their 100 Alumni of Influence.
An awards ceremony on Oct. 2 invited some of the college’s most prestigious alumni to accept an award of appreciation in honour of the college’s 100th anniversary. About half of the awards were given posthumously and accepted by friends and family members, though many alumni were on hand to accept.
Alumni at the gala whom students might recognize include writers Sharon Butala and Guy Vanderhaeghe, athletes Patricia Lawson and Vera Pezer, photographer Courtney Milne and former Saskatchewan premiere Roy Romanow.
A selection committee spent two years preparing the list of 100 influential alumni. Joy-Ann Allin, committee member and Alumni and Development communications officer, said one of the biggest challenges was choosing only 100 alumni.
“We started with a couple of binders of information (on alumni),” she said. “The challenge was to work through these biographies. There are over 50,000 alumni. That’s a huge number of people and many of them have gone on to successful careers.”
Other famous alumni include author and journalist Mark Abley, actress Kim Coates, poet Lorna Crozier, crime writer and creator of Street Legal William Deverell and former prime minister John Diefenbaker. It was also interesting to learn the history behind familiar names from around the city like Rusty MacDonald, Frances Morrison, Carlyle King, Hilda Neatby and Mabel Timlin.
But the gala wasn’t only open to alumni. The luncheon featured music from the U of S Jazz Ensemble and six tables were reserved for students.
Allin says getting students involved and aware of these alumni has been part of the goal from the beginning.
“The main reason for the Alumni of Influence was to inform students about these people who are very accomplished,” she said. “These people are going to be us in 50 years, hopefully.”
As a writer, Allin was most excited to meet William Deverell, Sharon Butala and Margaret Weiers, though she said it would be difficult to choose alumni who stand out in her mind because “they are all so interesting and different.”
To learn more about the alumni listed here and to see a full list, check out the College of Arts and Science website, the alumni display in the Arts Building (look up when heading down the arts ramp) or see the latest issue of the Arts and Science alumni magazine, DiversitA&S.
Happy 100th birthday
The first arts and science lecture, a lecture in Greek history, was given 100 years ago this month in the Drinkle Building downtown. At the time, 70 students were enrolled in the college.
Now, the College of Arts and Science is the biggest on campus with 8,000 students enrolled and more than 50,000 alumni.
The college is also one of the few in the country that combine arts and science under one banner.