Each Friend of the College winner is selected based on their impact in any of the following categories;
- Impacted students or participants in the program,
- Increased engagement of alumni, friends or donors,
- Improved the curriculum or program offering,
- Provided support to the program,
- And/or acted as an advocate for the College and its programs.
This year, the college is excited to present the award to Dr. Michael P.J. Kennedy and William (Bill) Seymour.
Many of us may recognize both Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Seymour as they are best friends, mutually loyal to the University of Saskatchewan(USask) and Huskie Athletics. As supporters of the institution, both men have been foundational builders for Huskie Athletics.
Dr. Kennedy’s, who goes by P.J., passion for USask runs deep as he found a love for the game of hockey as a teenager while developing an appreciation for literature. Quickly becoming a trailblazer for the sport and teaching a course at USask called, “Reading Culture: Hockey in Canadian Literature”, P.J. became a man to know on campus. It became a popular course, that led him to teaching to full classrooms, two to three times per year.
Having never played organized hockey and barely being able to skate, P.J.’s accomplishments for the sport are impressive.
When walking the arena concourse of the new Merlis Belsher Place complex, you will find the History of Rutherford Rink, written by P.J., and in true supporter form, he was the second person to purchase season tickets at the new arena, only behind the namesake himself, Merlis Belsher.
Retiring in 2017, P.J. continues to be a long-time Huskie hockey fan and a supporter of the Huskie hockey programs. He has been involved with Huskie Athletics in various capacities including: the Huskies Wall of Fame adjudication, statistician, writing news articles, the University Cup hockey championships, and currently chairs the award recognition committee for the Huskie Hockey Off the Leash Luncheon.
These days, you can find P.J. walking the halls of Huskie Athletics, stopping and chatting to anyone with an open door. His sound wisdom, guidance, and his knowledge of what has and is happening within Huskie Athletics, makes him a true friend of the college.
Bill Seymour has done it all for Huskie Athletics.
As a staff member, volunteer, donor, author, coach, administrator, and mentor, Bill defines what it means to be a loyal friend to the college.
His days with Huskie Athletics started off as an assistant coach under the legendary Dave Kingwhen the Huskies won their first national championship in 1983. Bill went on to become the team’s head coach and then assumed the role of Acting Athletic Director from 2006 – 2008.
In 2006, Bill played a significant role in hosting the Vanier Cup in Saskatoon, the first ever held in Western Canada. In this leadership transition period for Huskie Athletics, Bill brought a steady approach and a collaborative spirit that ensured the success of the program. Following this role, Bill volunteered countless hours as a convenor in Canada West.
Bill was a key volunteer for five University Cup National Hockey Championships hosted in Saskatoon between 1998 – 2014.
His love of research, the game of hockey, and Huskie pride was displayed through everything he did. He was the Project Coordinator for two editions of Dogs on Ice, a book dedicated to the history of hockey at USask. One of the main reasons Bill volunteered for this role was because of his best friend, P.J. Kennedy and the fact that the profits from the sale of the book, were donated back to Huskie Athletics to provide student scholarships.
As a long time donor to the institution, Bill generously gives to Huskie hockey, women’s basketball and volleyball, the Huskie Football Foundation, and a notable contribution to the USask Home Ice Campaign.
In 2012, Bill won the Kinsmen Sportsman of the Year award. This recognition went beyond Huskie Athletics and into the countless hours he spent volunteering with minor sports programs throughout Saskatoon.
As two dedicated friends, supporters, and trailblazers for Huskie Athletics, it is fitting that we acknowledge, honour, and award the 2022 Friend of the College award to both P.J. and Bill.