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University’s Alumni Association gives back to save Darke Hall and supports students with disabilities

By Dale Johnson Posted: June 28, 2018 11:00 a.m.

Cheque presentation with President Vianne Timmons (left) and U of Alumni Association President Bert Yakichuk at recent Alumni Association Annual General Meeting.
Cheque presentation with President Vianne Timmons (left) and U of Alumni Association President Bert Yakichuk at recent Alumni Association Annual General Meeting. Photo: U of R Photography

Two cheques presented to Dr. Timmons, University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor, at the recent U of R Alumni Association by its president Bert Yakichuk (MEd’77) will go a long way to support students and toward "Saving Darke Hall."

Opened in 1929 as “a temple to the arts, and a centre for cultural activity," Darke Hall is undergoing extensive renovations to restore it to its former glory, make the space accessible, and bring it up to code. The gift of $100,000 from the Alumni Association will help to ensure Darke Hall is open to the community once again.

“Thanks to the generosity of so many, we’re well on our way to re-establishing Darke Hall to its place as our province’s premier historic performance space,” said Dr. Timmons. “The support of our amazing alumni sends a strong message to the community about the importance of restoring Regina’s cultural gem for the benefit of generations of students, performers, and audiences.”

In addition, Yakichuk announced that an endowed award was being created in honour of Dr. Timmons. The award will total $25,000 over five years and, at Dr. Timmons’ request, will support students with disabilities. Presidents have been honoured by the Alumni Association in this manner since the 1990s.

"More students with disabilities are attending the University of Regina than ever before, and it is important to ensure that the proper supports are in place to help them succeed in their studies," said Timmons. "The President’s Endowment Fund will provide much-needed financial assistance to deserving students, and I want to thank the Alumni Association for making it possible."

Competition was tight that night as ten alumni vied for the six available positions on the Alumni Association Board. When the votes were counted, the following incumbents were named to one-year terms: Joy Jaja (BA’16), Sandra Kitts (BEd’80), Jennifer Murray (BA’03, BEd’05), Scott Nicholson (BA’93, BA’96), Christine Niemczyk (CPR ’88), and Patricia Thomson (MAdmin ’18). Yakichuk welcomed the new Board members and thanked all ten alumni for their commitment to the Association.

U of R alumni in Edmonton and Calgary are gearing up to go green with Roughrider pride at U of R Alumni Tailgate parties in August. And extraordinary alumni will be honoured at the annual Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards (ACAA) on October 18 in Regina. Help celebrate our alumni and the many contributions they make to our communities locally, nationally, and internationally.  ACAA tickets and further details will be available in August. For more information on these and other Alumni events, please contact Alumni Relations at 306-585-4503 or

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A bright past and even brighter future for Darke Hall