Gymnasium renamed in honour of President Atkinson

June 22, 2017

The Dr. David W. Atkinson Gymnasium honours a legacy of dedication to sport

The gymnasium at MacEwan University’s City Centre Campus will now be known as the Dr. David W. Atkinson Gymnasium in honour of the outgoing president, who ends his term on June 30.

Ione Challborn, chair of the university's Board of Governors, made the announcement during the Faculty of Arts and Science Spring 2017 convocation ceremony, David’s last as president. The announcement included the unveiling of a plaque that will be displayed at the gymnasium. Along with the dates of his presidency, the plaque states that “His leadership advanced the institution’s reputation as a quality undergraduate university focused on academic excellence and providing an extraordinary student experience.”

It’s fitting that the gymnasium was chosen to be named in David’s honour. The space serves as home court for the Griffins basketball and volleyball teams, both of which (along with the cross-country and soccer teams) were granted membership into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league under David’s leadership. David has also made known his love of sport. A former cross-country athlete himself, he can now be found teaching weekly spin classes at the university’s Christenson Family Centre for Sport and Wellness.

“It has been very rare in my career that I've been left speechless. This is certainly one of those occasions," said David after the announcement, which came as a surprise to him.

"I owe the university enormous gratitude and thanks for this honour. It was unexpected and that makes it even more special. It's very gratifying to hear expressions of thanks for what you have done and contributed. But whatever MacEwan is, and whatever it will become in the future - it's not the result of one person's efforts. It's result of many people coming together with a vision and passion for this university.”

The gymnasium name change takes effect immediately. David’s presidential term officially ends on June 30. He plans to return as a faculty member in the Department of English after taking an administrative leave.


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