|Born||Margaret L. McKercher
April 17, 1939
|Spouse(s)||Robert McKercher (B.A.'50, LL.B.'52, LL.M.Harvard'54)|
Peggy McKercher (born April 17, 1939) C.M., SOM, B.A., LL.D. has made lifelong contributions to her community, province and country. A brief overview list of her appointments: She was the first woman elected to the Corman Park Rural Municipality; she served as the 11th chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan; she Chaired the Meewasin Valley Authority in its formative years; she vice-chaired the Wanuskewin Heritage Park; she sat on the board of National Capital Commission’s Canadiana Fund, Saskatchewan Arts Board, and was as Saskatchewan’s representative on the Trans Canada Trail Advisory Foundation Advisory Board. In some of her most recent work she has chaired the University of Saskatchewan Committee on Heritage Buildings and worked on the Mayor’s South Down Town Task Force in Saskatoon. For her dynamic and effective leadership Mrs. McKercher has been invested into Order of Canada and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
Margaret "Peggy" (Wilton) McKercher was born in Manitoba on April 17, 1939. She attended City Park collegiate and enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan in 1947, convocating in 1950 with a Bachelors of Arts. Peggy remained at the University for two years working with the Physical Education staff, while her husband, Robert McKercher (B.A.'50, LL.B.'52, LL.M. Harvard'54) finished law school at the U of S. Robert and Peggy then went to Harvard where he completed a Master’s in Law and Peggy taught and supported him. The McKerchers then went to Toronto where Robert pursued a doctorate. Peggy and Robert briefly returned to Saskatoon where Robert articled with Justice Emmett Hall, before joining a law firm in Ottawa for six years. When it came time to putting their “roots down” they returned to Saskatoon. Throughout her time at the U of S Peggy was very active in student government and athletics. As a student she was awarded the Spirit of Youth Award.
Peggy McKercher has been heavily involved in athletics all her life. During her time at the U of S she participated in a total of eight University teams. Every team was either a city, provincial and/or intervarsity championship team. Her Huskie basketball team won the Cecil Race Trophy for three consecutive years, and her track and field team won the Rutherford Trophy three consecutive times as well. Peggy also participated on the University swim team. During her studies Peggy was a member of the Women’s Athletic Board, and served as president from 1949 to 1950. Peggy was awarded the University of Saskatchewan Major Athletics Award in 1950 and inducted into the U of S Hall of Fame in 1984. Peggy McKercher’s dedication to athletics and her subsequent recognition of sport’s strong positive influence can be seen throughout her life. Peggy has made considerable contribution through her work with the Jeux Canada Games Board of Directors and the ParticipACTION Board of Directors. There is an academic and athletic scholarship presented to students in honour of Peggy McKercher.
Municipal politics, Meewasin Valley Authority, Wanuskewin and Community Service
Peggy McKercher was the first woman to serve on the rural municipality of Corman Park Council, where she sat as a division counsellor, as deputy reeve, and on numerous committees. Mrs. McKercher has also chaired the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA), and vice-chaired the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, which was developed and built by MVA. Mrs. McKercher was an important founding member of the Authority and was Chair for 16 years from 1979 to 1995. She was instrumental in the development of Wanuskewin Heritage Park from 1982 until its official opening in 1992 and continued on its board until 1997. Peggy’s work with the MVA and Wanuskewin was during an extremely controversial period as there was a great deal of political resistance and disagreement over the conservation projects such as Wanuskewin. However, under her leadership, Meewasin created “one of the most beautiful riverfront areas in Canada”. She has been a member of numerous boards and commissions, including the Canadian Water Resources Board, the National Capital Commission's Canadiana Fund, the Governor General's board for the Meritorious Service Decorations, and a fundraiser for the Sherbrooke Community Centre. and deputy reeve. She has served on the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and as the Saskatchewan representative on the Trans Canada Trail Foundation Advisory Board. She has also served on the Mayor’s South Downtown Task Force, the Saskatchewan Medical Research Foundation, and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit advisory committee. McKercher is one of the Mendel Foundation Members, and has also been appointed to the Saskatchewan Arts board.
University of Saskatchewan Chancellorship, Order of Canada and Saskatchewan Order of Merit
Peggy McKercher served, with distinction, as the University of Saskatchewan’s Chancellor for two terms, from 1995 until 2001. Mrs. McKercher was praised for her “quiet dignity, gracious personality and sound wisdom” during her chancellorship, where she “served the University of Saskatchewan in ceremony, governance and everyday life in an outstanding manner”. As Chancellor, Mrs. McKercher acted as both a member and Chair of the University Senate and as a member of the Board of Governors. In March 1995 for her active volunteer work in the Saskatoon community and her “dynamic leadership [that] has helped strengthen the Authority's valuable work in preserving the Saskatchewan River Valley environment,” McKercher was invested in the Order of Canada . On November 21, 2001, again for her considerable contributions to her community and Saskatchewan, she received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
In 1989, McKercher received the Saskatoon Citizen of the Year award. She has been awarded also the Rosalie Early Memorial Award, the Governor General’s Canada 125 Award, the Ernst and Young, Bank of Montreal Award for Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year, Western Canada for 1994. On May 29, 2002, Peggy was presented an honorary Doctor of Laws by Peter MacKinnon, President.
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E. K. Turner
|Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan
W. Thomas Molloy