Dr. Jim (HS’58) & Beth McHattie

Dr. Jim (HS’58) & Beth McHattie

Dr. Jim McHattie (HS’58) and his wife, Beth, are hardworking, community-minded and generous people.  When asked why he gives to Luther, Dr. McHattie says, “I’ve been pretty fortunate to be healthy, to enjoy the work I’m doing and to be in a position to give back. Luther was a positive influence on me and my three sons. Luther is progressive. I see the good work it does with students and in our community and I want to help make sure that Luther continues to be able to thrive.”

The McHattie family has a long association with Luther.  Jim grew up in Regina and attended Lakeview School, and both Jim and his brother Thomas McHattie (HS’61) attended Luther.   “It was a big school.  I met many new people and made a lot of new friends,” recalls Dr. McHattie.  “I saw basketball for the first time at Luther!”

After completing his grade twelve, Jim took his first year of university classes at Luther before heading off to study pre-medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.  While Jim has many fond memories of the friendships he made while attending Luther, he values as much the education he received here.  For Dr. McHattie, Luther was instrumental in developing his interest in the fundamentals of science and biology that were critical buildings blocks to his long career in medicine.

Dr. McHattie speaks very highly of his teachers at Luther.  “They were extremely dedicated.  They helped to develop positive, progressive attitudes and opinions among students. They accentuated and further developed the positive values we had from home. They were concerned not just with academics, but with the development of the whole student. That’s a big intangible that has carried over into the work that all of us do.”

After completing his internship and residency at the University of Toronto, Jim spent a year doing research in Copenhagen and then came back to work at the Toronto General Hospital.  Eventually, Jim and Beth moved back to Regina, where Jim began work as a gastroenterologist at the Plains Health Centre.  
When it was time for the McHattie’s children to attend high school, Jim and Beth were very pleased that they choose Luther.  David (HS’85), Donald (HS’87) and Thomas (HS’92) are all graduates of Luther College High School.

Son David McHattie (HS’85) reflects upon his Luther experience: “What I find interesting is that considering my dad and two brothers who went to Luther, we all found something different that inspired us and made our high school experiences something valuable. Luther provided a multi-dimensional program broad enough to bring the best out of four very different individuals from the same family.  My Dad’s experiences were strong enough that he sent me and my brothers to Luther without discussion, and for that, we are all grateful.”

When asked about why his parents give back, David says, “Community has been very important to my parents. The Luther experience has led them to give back to the school through donations intended to benefit other students. Contributing towards the infrastructure of the school helps recruit high performing teachers and gives them the tools to develop the students so that they can reach their potential. Luther helped play that important role for my father and my parents believe that this is important to the community of Regina and area so future generations can reach their potential.”

In addition to supporting Luther, the McHatties also support a number of other organizations in the province.  Prominent among them is Ducks Unlimited, where Jim is currently the provincial senior director.

Fellow alumni, good friend and hunting partner Ron Shirkey (HS’63) can attest to Dr. McHattie’s work ethnic and community-mindedness.  “I have known and associated with Jim for the past thiry-five years. A word I would use to describe Jim is relentless.  He is relentless in the pursuit of his specialist medical career, the well-being of his patients, community involvement, traveling and most notably hunting and fishing. I consider myself fortunate to be his hunting partner.”

When it comes to supporting Luther, Jim and Beth’s message to other Luther families is this: “We are making this donation on behalf of our family as a small thank you to the teachers, both past and present, for their dedication, and for the strong and positive influence they have had on all of us.  By donating to ‘bricks and mortar’, we know that these new and improved facilities will equip and enable teachers to continue doing the important work that they do.”