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University Archives & Special Collections, A-5592. (Patrick Hayes)

Beyond Campus

Gift to University

The U of S has been the recipient of a variety of the odd and unusual.

Cash has always been the most popular donation to the University of Saskatchewan, followed by books, awards, works of art and land.

The U of S has also been the recipient of a variety of the odd and unusual. 

The first recorded gift to the university came in June 1909, when John Dixon, Esq., of Dixon Bros, General Merchants, Maple Creek, sent Dean William Rutherford of the College of Agriculture an unspecified quantity of “alfalfa soil.”

This was an age before the availability of commercial inoculants.

The acquisition of the soil and its associated bacteria was the first step in the establishment of the University Farm’s new alfalfa crop.

Dixon, elected by the University Senate, would serve on the University Board of Governors from 1908 until 1921. Here, he stands with U of S President Walter Murray in an alfalfa crop near Maple Creek in 1908.