It is with great sadness that uOttawa acknowledges today the passing of Alex Trebek, who was both one of our most beloved alumni and one of our community’s most passionate supporters. We mourn his loss and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
Alex Trebek was raised in Sudbury in a bilingual household, and first came to Ottawa to attend the University of Ottawa High School. After graduating in 1957 he moved on to the University of Ottawa, where among other activities, he was a member of the Gee-Gees basketball team, playing for the garnet and grey during his senior year for the 1960-1961 season. He graduated with a degree in Classical Philosophy, his major chosen, he later explained, because philosophy classes were held in the morning, allowing him to work in the afternoon and evening to earn his tuition.
Alex never forgot his time at uOttawa and over the years he was a generous supporter of his alma mater. His gifts founded the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue, and his namesake Innovation and Challenge Fund, as well as his Distinguished Lecture Series and Leadership Award. He was a significant contributor to the creation of the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall. His contributions were such that he was awarded the keys to the city of Ottawa for “his philanthropy and activism, his unrelenting commitment to higher education, and his steadfast loyalty to the University of Ottawa."