Initiated in 1983 as part of the University of Alberta’s 75th anniversary, six Sports Wall of Fame inductees were recognized at a luncheon at University House. From those humble beginnings with 20 people in attendance, the induction ceremony grew into the Sports Wall of Fame Dinner with over 900 people celebrating the accomplishments of the university’s sporting elite.
First held in 1987, the Sports Wall of Fame Dinner was an annual event that recognized and celebrated University and community sporting excellence and tradition and bridged past, present and future contributions within the University and local sporting community.
While recognizing the accomplishments of the inductees, the Dinner was also used to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the current University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas teams. Over time the Dinner began to raise money and beginning in 2000, funds generated from it were used to support the Sports Wall of Fame scholarship, which at the time, was the most significant scholarship that coaches used to recruit the best and brightest student-athletes.
In 2009, it was decided to amalgamate the recognition of the Sports Wall of Fame inductees with the University of Alberta’s Alumni Recognition Night, hosted by Alumni Relations during Alumni Reunion Weekend. The intention was to provide a broader exposure to the inductees by rewarding their accomplishments alongside the other amazing University of Alberta alumni.
While the increased exposure and collaboration with Alumni Relations has had a very positive effect, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics decided to create a Sports Wall of Fame reception in 2012 targeted towards the sporting community, taking place the evening before the Alumni Awards Night. The reception provides the opportunity for the most recent inductees and the individuals connected to the inductees and their respective programs to socialize with each other and be recognized by their sporting peers and now fellow inductees.
The University of Alberta has rightly earned a world class reputation in sport through the combined efforts of its athletic alumni, student-athletes, coaches and administrators. These outstanding student-athletes and builders are recognized for their contribution to university sport as well as for their subsequent contributions to the community and country, as a whole.
By example, these Sports Wall of Fame inductees continue to play major roles in their respective sport endeavours. They are known to have superlative training and expertise and are familiar with success. It is these traits which make them worthy of Sports Wall of Fame honour.
Thousands of student-athletes and hundreds of builders have passed through the doors of the University of Alberta, and countless more will do so in the future. To be picked as one of the best from that group is truly an honour which will serve as an inspiration for generations to come.
The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation is a diverse academic community of inspiring faculty members, students, and student-athletes. Through our service and outreach, our achievements positively impact the health and quality of life of individuals in our community.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics is one of Canada's premier intercollegiate programs recognized internationally for high performance sport competition, coaching, and resources.
The University of Alberta aspires to inspire the human spirit through outstanding achievements in learning, discovery, and citizenship in a creative community, building one of the world’s great universities for the public good.