At last week's ground-breaking ceremony for a new hotel development at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), the Rychjohns and Van Normans made a surprise announcement that they are donating $1 million to the Home Ice Campaign. The campaign is an effort to fund a two-storey, twin-pad ice facility for Huskie men's and women's hockey, campus rec leagues, and minor hockey.
"The U of S has entrusted us to do a hotel development on the College Quarter lands," said Lawrence Rychjohn. "This donation is our way of showing that we are honored to have been given this opportunity, and that we are committed to building a better experience for the students, athletes, and the city."
"We are very lucky to have such generous supporters of the U of S," said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. "I am deeply grateful to Lawrence and Patricia Rychjohn, and Alice and Ian Van Norman, for their contributions not only to this hotel development, but also for their gift for our new ice-facility."
The announcement of this donation from the Rychjohns and Van Normans came one day after the official launch of the Home Ice Campaign highlighted by a donation of $12.25 million from law and commerce grad Merlis Belsher (BComm'57, LLB'63).
In addition to the 50-50 partnership for College Hotels LP, the Rychjohns and Van Normans have a history of developing and owning commercial and residential properties together, dating back to 1981. Their most notable venture involved was when they teamed to jointly build for the construction of Circle Park Mall (now one half of "The Centre").
The Rychjohns have strong connections to the U of S, which made giving to the Home Ice Campaign natural. "Lawrence and I both received degrees from the U of S, and all three of our children attended the U of S," said Patricia. "Our education is one cornerstone of who, and where, we are as a family today."
The Van Normans are renowned for their generosity, not just in Saskatoon, but also throughout the world. Ian and Alice have done mission work in Haiti to support the Claire Heureuse Hospital and in Burundi for a clinic that bears their name.
"Saskatoon has been good to us," said Ian. "We are blessed; and we are happy to do something that, in addition to benefiting the university, will also benefit the entire community."
Go to the Home Ice Campaign site for more information and to donate.