A new athletic financial award -- known as the Jean Béliveau Award -- has been established at McGill University to recognize outstanding student-athletes and honour the memory of the legendary Montreal Canadiens captain and inspirational community leader.
The impetus for the award comes from several McGill donors (George Lengvari and Terry Tretiak of Lengvari Capital, The Rossy Family Foundation, the Joe Weider Foundation, Power Corporation and the Martlet Foundation). The endowed fund is expected to generate approximately $25,000 a year that will be used for awards for up to four full-time varsity student-athletes (two men and two women) who have demonstrated academic achievement and leadership in student and/or community affairs.
“All donors agreed that this was an appropriate way to honour a friend and a great Canadian,” said George Lengvari (BCL’66), Chairman of Lengvari Capital Ltd. and former captain of the McGill men’s basketball team. “The timing of the announcement of these awards coincides with the 10th anniversary of Jean receiving his honorary degree from McGill and it is a fitting tribute to his legacy as a remarkable athlete and someone who gave back so much to the community.”
The inaugural winners of the Jean Béliveau Awards are Mélodie Daoust (BEd’17) and Joel Houle (BEd’18). Daoust, a Canadian Olympian and captain of the McGill women`s hockey team, combines on-ice excellence with off-ice leadership as a community ambassador for McGill Athletics and Recreation, as well as her involvement in numerous youth sports camps and clinics. Houle, a tight-end and co-captain with the McGill football team, complements his gridiron achievements with volunteer work at several Montreal hospitals.
“The University is honoured to have Jean Béliveau’s name linked to the athletic excellence and community leadership of our students,” said Marc Gélinas, executive director of McGill Athletics and Recreation. “We are very grateful for the support and generosity of our donors in establishing these prestigious awards and they will be a centrepiece of our recognition of student-athletes at McGill.”
Béliveau skated for 18 seasons with the Canadiens from 1953-1971; he was a member of 10 Stanley Cup-winning teams as a player and seven more as an executive with the team. Off the ice, Béliveau supported charities in Quebec and throughout Canada. In 2003, the Montreal Canadiens introduced the Jean Béliveau Trophy, which is awarded to the Canadiens player who best demonstrates community involvement and spirit.
About McGill University
McGill University is one of Canada’s top institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. With students coming to McGill from some 150 countries, its student body is the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in the country. Its 11 faculties and 11 professional schools offer more than 300 programs of study to some 40,000 graduate, undergraduate and continuing studies students. McGill ranks 1st in Canada among medical-doctoral universities (Maclean’s) and 24th in the world (QS World University Rankings).
Athletics and Recreation vows to instill within the McGill community the values of academic and sporting excellence along with the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. Home to 30 varsity teams and over 700 varsity athletes, McGill students were instrumental in the founding and development of football (1874), hockey (1877) and basketball (1892).
For further information:
Sports Info Office, McGill Athletics & Recreation
earl.zukerman [at] mcgill.ca
Media Relations, McGill University
514 704-6693 (cell.)
vincent.allaire [at] mcgill.ca