The University of Victoria today officially opened the Lynda & Murray Farmer Walk of Excellence. The new showcase walkway—lined with Vikes athletics photographs, historic memorabilia and success stories—celebrates the talent, history and accomplishments of Vikes athletes, coaches and supporters while also honouring the legacy of former UVic Chancellor Murray Farmer and his wife, Lynda.
“We are honoured to have Lynda and Murray Farmer’s names associated with this project and are very grateful for their generous support of UVic,” says Clint Hamilton, director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. “This new walkway is our opportunity to share the Vikes history and stories of past achievements and individuals who built the foundation for our program, while ensuring that current and future generations are inspired to embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with continuing this tradition of excellence.”
The walkway is situated at the entrance to the performance gym in UVic’s Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA), the new athletics and recreation facility that is also home to CanAssist.
The Farmers are long-time supporters of UVic who believe that CARSA and its programs reflect the importance of an active lifestyle and the pursuit of athletic excellence in building healthy lives and communities. Their gift of $500,000 to CARSA helps the university provide a home for champions and a place where students, faculty, staff and community members can benefit from a wide range of equipment, programs and resources.
“The Walk of Excellence serves as a stimulating visual panorama of Vikes’ accomplishments and showcases those individuals who, through their hard work, determination and self-discipline, have created our athletic history—reflecting stories of excellence that have the potential to inspire others to live their own lives to the fullest and in the best way possible, whatever path is taken,” says Murray Farmer.
A leader in the construction industry, Murray Farmer is a UVic alumnus, a former chair of UVic’s Board of Governors and served two terms as UVic’s chancellor. Lynda Farmer is well-known for her active and long-time leadership in community volunteer work and is an honorary UVic alumna for her support and engagement with the university.
Over the past five decades, UVic has built a rich tradition of athletic distinction. On the international, national and collegiate stages, the university has been proud to champion the talent and success of its athletes, coaches and builders as they also contribute to the development of sport in Canada. The Lynda & Murray Farmer Walk of Excellence will highlight the many milestones and contributors that have helped create a solid foundation for an exciting Vikes future of ongoing achievements and memories.
The walkway is lined on one side with a colourful wall of photos and compelling stories while the other side features glass display cases, also viewable from the gymnasium concourse, with iconic Vikes artifacts spanning the last five decades of Vikes history, dating back to Victoria college in the 1940s. The four cases and storyboards parallel each other across four themes—a walk through time, accomplishments with the Vikes, international success and Vikes national championship history.
Memorabilia includes a podium outfit, competition swimsuit and bronze medal from former Vike and three-time Paralympian Stephanie Dixon, Team Canada and UVic jerseys from men’s basketball stand-out Eli Pasquale, a jersey from former Whitecaps FC soccer player Nico Craveiro, a wheel and jersey from two-time Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Janet McLachlan, all 11 women’s field hockey championship gold medals from head coach Lynne Beecroft, all annual UVic athletic award trophies, as well as original attire from Victoria College teams dating back to 1941.
The Lynda & Murray Farmer Walk of Excellence is also the new home of the UVic Sports Hall of Fame, which currently celebrates 40 individuals and six teams. Both the storyboard wall and Hall of Fame wall are designed to evolve over time with additions. Also, people can use two interactive touch-screen monitors to find more biographies, photos and videos on Hall of Fame inductees, Olympians and Paralympians, championship teams, honour roll recipients, Vikes coaches and more.
Alumni who have memorabilia that they want considered for the Walk of Excellence can contact Ali Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Vikes Athletics and the UVic Sports Hall of Fame, visit govikesgo.com.