U SPORTS graduates Jane and Ron Graham (University of Saskatchewan) and Stu and Kim Lang (Queen’s University & the University of Guelph) are the recipients of the 2022 U SPORTS-Mitchell Family Alumni of the Year presented by Makadiff Sports.
The annual award celebrates former varsity athletes who have become leaders in their communities and recognizes the continued contributions of each alum to their alma mater.
“On behalf of the Mitchell Family and the Canadian Athletic Foundation, I am pleased to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Alumni Awards, said the Hon. Lois Mitchell. “The Lang and Graham families are ideal representatives of the spirit of legacy and giving back. We are proud to have the opportunity to showcase their motivating stories across the country.”
The families have long been champions of supporting their universities' athletic and academic missions.
Jane and Ron Graham are the University of Saskatchewan’s most generous donors, having made significant contributions to the USask’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), the Jane and Ron Graham Centre for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (College of Education) and the College of Engineering. In 2021, they made a $30-million gift to support the Huskie football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, including additional scholarships, funding for coaching support, and new training and travel opportunities for skill development. The Grahams previously built the clubhouse for the Huskie football team in 2006. Five years later, they contributed to the facility's expansion to respond to the evolving academic and athletic needs of student-athletes.
“The Grahams have laid the foundation upon which the Huskie Athletics program continues to thrive,” said Huskie Athletics Chief Athletics Officer Shannon Chinn. "For them, it's never about just donating or about the recognition. Every donation focuses on making Huskie Athletics better today than it was yesterday. We are tremendously grateful for their continued support."
Stu and Kim Lang have been long-time champions of their alma mater, Queen’s University and the University of Guelph, where Stu was the head coach for six seasons, culminating in a Yates Cup championship in 2015. They have donated more than $70 million to both institutions, benefiting student-athletes and the general student population. Their contributions include the $10-million founding gift in the campaign to build the new Richardson Stadium at Queen’s University and a $10.5-million donation to build the state-of-the-art Pavilion at Alumni Stadium in support of the Gryphons football program. Their academic support includes a $20-million contribution to the U of G business school (now named the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics) and an $11-million gift to the U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College.
"Stu and Kim Lang perfectly embody all of the traits required to receive an award as prestigious as the Mitchell Family Award for U SPORTS Alumni of the Year," said Scott McRoberts, Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph. "The contributions they have made over the years through their Angel Gabriel Foundation have made an immeasurable impact not only on our Gryphon student-athletes but our campus and greater Guelph community as a whole. On behalf of everyone at the University of Guelph, we would like to congratulate Stu and Kim for their much-deserved recognition of this award. We cannot thank them enough for their ongoing commitment and belief in the positive impact that university athletics can provide."
"Stu and Kim Lang have repeatedly demonstrated their extraordinary commitment to Queen's University in cultivating excellence for the student and student-athlete experience," said Linda Melnick, Executive Director of Queen's Athletics & Recreation. "Their contributions to the revitalization of Richardson Stadium, and the Richardson Stadium Pavilion Project, have helped provide best-in-class facilities for our Varsity programs and created a transformative connection between the University and the broader Kingston community. I'd like to offer my congratulations to Stu and Kim on behalf of Queen's University and Queen's Athletics & Recreation for this well-deserved recognition and my sincere thanks for their unwavering dedication to empowering student-athletes, both on and off the field of play and supporting opportunities that contribute to the well-being of our campus”
The inaugural winners of the U SPORTS-Mitchell Family Alumni of the Year Awards were George Lengvari (McGill and Concordia) and Nancy Knowlton (Bishop’s) in 2021.