Doreen Thorson of Preeceville has been named the recipient of the University of Saskatchewan College of Education Honour Award for Business and Philanthropy. The ceremony was held at the Prairieland Park Hall in Saskatoon on January 19.
The Wall of Honour acknowledges the significant successes and contributions of outstanding alumni who have graduated from any of the College's programs, from any graduation year. The Wall of Honour is a feature wall on the main floor of the Education Building and houses the names of all previous recipients, as well as photographs of current recipients. Since 2007, the College has honoured over 60 alumni, all of whom have exemplified the spirit of the mission, vision, and values of the University of Saskatchewan, according to information provided by the College.
"I felt very honoured to receive this acknowledgement," said Thorson. "I was nominated for the Wall of Honour by committee from the college. The members previously came out and met me before I received the honour. My donations to the college are made with the hopes of helping a struggling student or students who need assistance. I was once a struggling student and know full well how difficult it can be.”
In December 2017, Thorson made a generous donation to the College of Education in the hopes that she could ease the financial burden of a few students and help in their journeys to attain successful and rewarding careers. Two continuing undergraduate student awards were established in her name: The Doreen Thorson Scholarship in Education and the Doreen Thorson Bursary in Education, both of which will be awarded beginning this academic year and will be dispersed annually for five years.
Thorson has also been giving back to the University of Saskatchewan since 1992, supporting numerous campaigns and initiatives within the College of Education and the University Library.
Thorson attended the Saskatoon Teachers` College in 1961, and a year later, began her teaching career in a Grade 1 classroom in Shell Lake. After two years in Shell Lake, she spent three years in Prince Albert teaching and commuting to Saskatoon during the summer months to take classes at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed her third year in Education as a full-time student in 1967-68. Thorson taught in Saskatoon for six years, continued taking classes and completing her Bachelor of Education Degree in 1977. She received a teaching position in the town of Preeceville, where she taught until 1981 and continued to work intermittently as a substitute teacher for several years.
Thorson and her husband Edgar are active in the community and church in Preeceville and provide financial support to better the community and those in need.
The couple is now happily retired on a farm near Preeceville, said Doreen. They both remain involved with community and church activities, and have enjoyed travelling in recent years to places such as the USA, Norway and Denmark. Doreen has also traveled to Peru.