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U SPORTS men’s hockey championship trophy to be renamed the David Johnston University Cup

U SPORTS Staff

National brand of university sports in Canada announces hockey hardware’s new name in honour of the former Governor General and passionate supporter of university sport

U SPORTS, the national brand for university sports in Canada, announced Tuesday that its men’s hockey championship trophy is being renamed the David Johnston University Cup in honour of the former Governor General of Canada.  

The David Johnston University Cup was unveiled at an event hosted by U SPORTS at The Globe and Mail Centre and emceed by Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean. The trophy is being renamed in recognition of the Right Honourable David Johnston’s support of Canadian university sport and its student-athletes. During his time as Governor General, the Right Honourable Mr. Johnston founded the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation to recognize the country’s Top 8 student-athletes with an average over 80 per cent who also give back to their communities, in addition to awarding certificates to more than 3,200 Academic All-Canadians annually.

David Johnston is a distinguished Canadian who served our country at the highest level. His dedication to academia has a legacy of its own, including ties to five our member institutions, while also establishing a platform to recognize our top student-athletes. U SPORTS is privileged to name the University Cup in his honour.

“David Johnston is a distinguished Canadian who served our country at the highest level,” said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown. “His dedication to academia has a legacy of its own, including ties to five our member institutions, while also establishing a platform to recognize our top student-athletes. U SPORTS is privileged to name the University Cup in his honour.”

His connection to Canadian universities include a Bachelor of Laws degree from Queen’s University and beginning a professional career in 1966 as assistant professor in the law faculty at Queen’s. Mr. Johnston moved on to the University of Toronto’s law faculty in 1968 and became dean of Western University’s law faculty in 1974. He was named principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University in 1979, serving for 15 years before returning to teaching as a full-time professor in the McGill Faculty of Law. In June 1999, he became the fifth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, serving until 2010.

The former Governor General has a long-time connection with hockey, including his childhood in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., playing minor hockey alongside future Hockey Hall of Famers Phil and Tony Esposito, and Lou Nanne. He had a distinguished hockey career at Harvard University in the 1960s as a talented defenceman. Mr. Johnston was named to the All Amercian Hockey Team in 1962 and 1963, and inducted into the Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame.  In 1993, he was the first non-American citizen to chair the Harvard board of overseers.  In 2011, David Johnston was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s all-time list of its top-50 players.

I love hockey, I love sports and I love the association of the office of the governor general with sports and physical activity and in particular hockey.

“I'm quite humbled by it all,” said David Johnston. “I love hockey, I love sports and I love the association of the office of the governor general with sports and physical activity and in particular hockey.”

The newly-named trophy will be presented for the first time this weekend during the 2018 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup at the Aitken University Centre on the campus of the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. The field includes the defending national champion UNB Varsity Reds, along with the StFX X-Men, Brock Badgers, McGill Redmen, Alberta Golden Bears, Saskatchewan Huskies, Concordia Stingers and the Acadia Axemen competing in the 56th edition of the national championship tournament.

The Right Honourable Mr. Johnston is the third longest-serving Governor General of Canada. His seven-year tenure (October 2010-October 2017) was characterized by inclusiveness, dedication, energy and ambition in quest of a smarter, more caring Canada and a better world.

The original University Cup trophy was first presented in 1963 by Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), participants in the first organized interuniversity men’s hockey game in 1885. McMaster University won the inaugural University Cup tournament, which was organized by then-RMC athletic director Major W.J. “Danny” MacLeod – a driving force in the creation of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU), now known as U SPORTS. A total of 17 schools have captured the national men’s hockey title, led by the University of Alberta with 15.