While cash has always been the most popular donation to the university 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 of Saskatchewan came in June of 1909. John Dixon, Esq, of Dixon Bros, General Merchants, Maple Creek sent Dean 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.
John Dixon, elected by the University Senate, would go on to serve on the University Board of Governors from 1908 until 1921.