The Alumni of Influence Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding alumni whose remarkable achievements and contributions are having an impact on their fields, their community and the university.

About the 2024 Alumni of Influence recipients

Gordon Beach (BSc’74)

gord-beach-web.jpgGordon Beach is a geologist and philanthropist from Midale, Sask. He grew up and attended school in the Weyburn area. Beach graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, high honours, from USask in 1974. During his career, he was an employee, then an independent consultant, in the oil and gas industry until his retirement in 2012. Beach said he retired to go to the ski hills and bicycle while vacationing with his wife, Helen. The pair have two daughters and four grandchildren.

While at USask, Beach joined a student society in the Department of Geological Sciences called the Ore Gangue. Based on his experience, he created the Ore Gangue Alumni Bursary Fund. He has encouraged other alumni to donate to the fund, which has helped financially support more than 35 students in the department. His philanthropy, leadership and enthusiasm has encouraged others to “pay it forward.”

Tenille Campbell (BA’07)


Tenille K. Campbell is a Dene and Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation, Sask. She is a PhD candidate in the USask Department of English, since completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, and a BA Honours in English from USask.

She is an award-winning poet with two published collections: #IndianLovePoems and Nedi Nezu. Her work currently focuses on themes of joy, desire, and matriarchy. She is also the artist behind sweetmoon photography, having spent more than 10 years capturing the complexities of Indigenous life and love from behind the lens.

Campbell was named a CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 recipient in 2017. She is currently the USask Indigenous Storyteller-In-Residence. Her work is an ode to culture, to community, to connection.

Aaron Genest (BSc’07, PhD’13)


Dr. Aaron Genest holds a BSc and PhD in Computer Science from USask. He is a member of the technology community, who helps leaders of start-ups navigate technical, governance, talent acquisition and sales challenges. He is a manager of a team of engineers at Siemens, and is the president of SaskTech, an industry advisory organization to government and education stakeholders.

Genest is involved in various aspects of USask, including being part of the Senate and the Dean’s Advisory Committee in Engineering. He is a mentor through USask’s SIGMA entrepreneurship program, the USask Connects graduate mentorship program, and is an advisor, advocate, and speaker for the OPUS deep tech incubator at USask.

Pat Atkinson (BA’73, BEd’77)


Pat Atkinson is an educator and Saskatchewan politician from Biggar, Sask. She attended high school in Saskatoon before going to USask to earn a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in 1973 and an education degree in 1977. Atkinson worked as a teacher, union organizer and principal until 1986 when she was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature.

For 25 years, she served as an MLA as part of the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the Saskatoon Nutana and Saskatoon Broadway constituencies. Between 1986-2011, Atkinson held many Cabinet positions in the provincial government, including Social Services, Post-Secondary Education, Health, Education, Finance and Deputy Leader of the Opposition. She is the longest serving woman parliamentarian in Saskatchewan history.

Since 2011, Atkinson has worked internationally and nationally with parliamentarians, public servants, political party activists and candidates. She has received many notable recognitions over the years, including the USask College of Education Alumni Wall of Honour, Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation Medal and Queen Elizabeth II Platinum and Golden Jubilee Medals.

Past Winners

  • Carol Greyeyes (BFA’82, BEd’88)
  • Freda Miller (BSc’79)
  • Robert Moody (BA’62)
  • Fredrick Mulder (BA’64)
  • Blair Neatby (BA’50)
  • Kenneth Norrie (BA’66)
  • Cyril Richardson (BA’30)
  • Roman Shklanka (BA’51, BComm’53, MA’57)
  • Mary Spencer (BA’45)
  • Tillie Taylor (BA’41, LLB’56)
  • Kenneth Calder (BA’66, MA’67)
  • Richard Ehman (BSc’74, MD’79)
  • Willard Estey (BA’40, LLB’42) (d.2002)
  • Larry Fowke (BA’63, DSC’06)
  • S. June Menzies (BA’49, MA’51)
  • Ernest Olfert (BA’65, DVM’69, MSc’76)
  • Louise Simard (BA’69, LLB’70)
  • Michelle Swenarchuk (BA’69) (d.2008)
  • Dorothy Walton (BA’29, MA’31) (d. 1981)
  • David Zakus (BSc’75)
  • Mark Abley, BA'75
  • Nancy Foster Adams, BA'31 (d. 1998)
  • Frank W. Anderson, BA'55 (d. 2008)
  • Anita Raynell Andreychuk, BA'66, LLB'67
  • Robert M. Arn, BA'63
  • Clare B. Baker, BA'44, Cert/Med
  • Edward J. Baldes, BA'18 (d. 1975)
  • Edward Bayda, BA'51, LLB'53
  • George Edwin Britnell, BA'29 (d. 1961)
  • Weldon Grant Brown, BSc'27, MSc'28 (d. 1989)
  • Sharon Butala, BEd'62, BA'63, PGD'73
  • Robert Calder, BA'63, MA'65
  • Jessie Rowles Caldwell, BSc'24 (d. 1990)
  • Alastair Graham W. Cameron, PhD'52 (d. 2005)
  • Roger C. Carter, BA'45, LLB'47 (d. 2009)
  • Samuel Delbert Clark, BA'30, MA'31 (d. 2003)
  • Kim Coates, BA '81
  • Thomas Courchene, BA'62
  • Lorna Crozier, BA'69
  • Edward M. Culliton, BA'26, LLB'28 (d. 1991)
  • Balfour Currie, BSc'25, MSc'27 (d. 1981)
  • MJ DeCoteau, BA'91, MA'97
  • William Deverell, LLB'63, BA'64
  • John George Diefenbaker, BA'15, MA'16, LLB'19 (d. 1979)
  • James Dosman, BA'59, MD'63, MA'69
  • Lillian Eva Dyck, BA'66, MA'70, PhD'81
  • Sylvia Fedoruk, BA'49, MA'51
  • Edith Fowke, BA'33, MA'37 (d. 1996)
  • Gerald Friesen, BA'65
  • Dorothee Gizenga, BSc'85
  • Lydia Gruchy, BA'20 (d. 1992)
  • Raymond Heimbecker, BA'44, Cert/Med'45
  • Robert Hinitt, BA'47, MA'49, BEd'52
  • Orville Hjertaas, BA'39, Cert/Med'39 (d. 1998)
  • Ramon Hnatyshyn, BA'54, LLB'56 (d. 2002)
  • Lisa Hornung, BMus'91
  • Ted Hughes, BA'48, LLB'50
  • Frances Hyland, BA'47, (d. 2004)
  • Gary Hyland, BA'62, BEd'64
  • Wilbur Roy Jackett, BA'31, LLB'33 (d. 2005)
  • Albert Johnson, BA'42
  • Norman Bell Keevil, BSc'30, MSc'32 (d. 1989)
  • Gordon Keller, BSc'74
  • Donald Kent, BE'57, MSc'59
  • Carlyle King, BA'26 (d. 1988)
  • Lawrence Kirk, BA'16, BSA'17, MSc'22, (d. 1969)
  • Dorothy Elsie Knowles, BA'48
  • Lester Lafond, D/Agric'75, BA'82
  • Patricia Lawson, BA'50, BEd'53
  • Mary Jo Leddy, BA'68, BEd'70
  • Jim MacNeill, BA'49, BE'58
  • Russell Holmes Macdonald, BA'39 (d. 1997)
  • Peter Makaroff, BA'15, LLB'18 (d. 1971)
  • Eric Malling, BA'67 (d. 1998)
  • Vincent Matthews, BA'43, Cert/Med'43 (d. 1988)
  • Kenneth J. McCallum, BSc'36, MSc'39 (d. 1997)
  • James McConica, BA'50
  • Alistair McCrone, BA'53
  • Annie McKay, BA'15 (d. 1986)
  • Obang Metho, BA'00
  • William E. K. Middleton, BSc'27, MSc'29 (d. 1998)
  • Courtney Milne, BA'64
  • William Thomas Molloy, BA'64, LLB'64
  • Jefferson Mooney, BA'66
  • Helen Frances Morrison, BHSc'39
  • Hilda Neatby, BA'24, MA'28 (d. 1975)
  • Darwyn Peachey, BSc'78, MSc'83
  • Bruce Peel, BA'44 (d. 1988)
  • Wilfred Perreault, BFA'70
  • Clayton Oscar Person, BA'49, MA'51 (d. 1990)
  • Vera Pezer, BA'62, MA'64, PhD'77
  • Herbert Pinder Sr., BA'42
  • Jacob Rempel, BA'31, MSc'33 (d. 1976)
  • Robert Gordon Robertson, BA'35
  • Roy Romanow, BA'60, LLB'64
  • Darcy Kim Rossmo, BA'78
  • John Francis Roy, BA'48, BEd'53, MA'68
  • Brian Henderson Russell, BSc'75
  • William George Schneider, BSc'37, MSc'39
  • Edith Child Rowles Simpson, BHSc'32 (d. 1997)
  • George Simpson, BA'19 (d. 1969)
  • Ahab Spence, BA'52 (d. 2001)
  • Savella Stechishin, BA'30 (d. 2002)
  • Barry Strayer, BA'53, LLB'55
  • Walter Surma Tarnopolsky, BA'52, LLB'57 (d. 1993)
  • Henry Taube, BSc'35, MSc'37
  • Gordon Thiessen, BA'59, MA'62
  • Henry G. Thode, BSc'30, MSc'32 (d. 1997)
  • Margaret Thompson, BA'43
  • Raymond Thorsteinsson, BA'44
  • James Till, BA'52, MA'54
  • Mabel Timlin, BA'29 (d. 1976)
  • Guy Vanderhaeghe, BA'71, MA'75
  • Ernest Walker, BEd'71, BA'72, MA'78
  • John Wedge, MD'69, BSc'73
  • Margaret Weiers, BA'49
  • Jennifer Welsh, BA'87
  • Barrie Wigmore, BEd'62, BA'63
  • Steven Woods, BSc'87
  • Percy Wright, BA'29, MA'31 (d. 1989)