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Flashback Friday (April 20)

Tom Lynch at the 2008 Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame induction
Tom Lynch at the 2008 Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame induction

With the 2018 Dal Tigers Hall of Fame Gala & Auction just four weeks away, we're featuring four Hall of Famers from four different induction years. Our first Hall of Famer to be featured is Builder Tom Lynch! We hope you'll join us for this year's event on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Ticket information

Tom's induction citation from 2008:

Tom Lynch is being honoured today because of his major contributions to sport and athletic life at Dalhousie University. He has worked tirelessly to advance athlete recruitment, fundraising and sport administration efforts at Dalhousie.

Tom has been an important player in helping to shape the structure of Dalhousie’s athletic student services fees and has been continuously involved in directing fundraising and recruitment efforts for high performing student-athletes.

In the late 1970’s, as a member of the Tiger Club, the predecessor to the current Black and Gold, he devoted much time and energy to the betterment of athletics at Dalhousie. As a founding member and former President of the Dalhousie Black and Gold Club, Tom helped establish this organization whose focus is to provide support for student athletes with financial awards, tutorial programs and sponsoring the annual athletic banquet.

These tools have become an increasingly necessary means to recruit student-athletes in an exceptionally competitive market. Thanks to Tom, the Black and Gold Club has been providing assistance to student-athletes at Dalhousie University for over twenty years.

One of the most exclusive, highly successful fundraisers and arguably the best annual event organized by the University is the annual Dal Golf Classic. As a founding committee member of this event, Tom was instrumental in getting the Dal Golf Classic off the ground and influential in securing the Risley home in Chester to host the inaugural reception. This ended up being the key to a hugely successful golf tournament. It sold out, at a premium price and has continued to attract participation from important alumni, partners and friends of Dalhousie, all in an effort to raise funds for student-athletes.

One of Tom’s greatest administrative accomplishments was the introduction of student athletic fees as part of tuition. These fees were initially added to enhance the student experience at Dalhousie, but have since evolved into also providing necessary support for varsity athletics, including greater recruiting and team travel funding. 

Along with his focus on the Tigers programs, he was also a strong believer in a balanced approach to student athletics. Giving all Dalhousie students, not just the varsity athletes, access to better facilities, quality fitness equipment, free fitness classes, as well as more support for intramurals and clubs was important to him. With the implementation of the new fee structure students also received free entrance to regular varsity competitions. 

Tom played an integral role in advancing many initiatives at Dalhousie. He helped create a very positive relationship with student organizations including the Dalhousie Student’s Union, student residences and various sport and recreation-related groups.

Tom placed a great deal of emphasis on student input in decisions of the Advisory Committee and all major decisions which affected their time at Dalhousie. He was a strong promoter of the establishment of an athlete’s council and other student representative organizations to ensure that the student voice was heard.

Up until 1995, the home of the soccer Tigers, Studley Field, became nearly unusable each year as the fall weather wreaked havoc on field conditions. Affectionately known as “Mudley Field”, Tom understood the dire need to improve this facility for the safety of Dalhousie students and Tiger athletes, as well as a necessity in the recruitment of future rising soccer stars. Tom worked closely with Ted Wickwire advocating for the replacement of Studley Field  and with Ted’s untimely death , Tom continued as a tireless force behind the building of the appropriately named , Wickwire Field - the largest artificial turf facility in the country at the time.

An area that was personally close to Tom’s heart was the recruitment of talented athletes for all Dalhousie varsity teams. He made tremendous contributions to coaches of all sports in the recruitment of key athletes, often at his own expense.  He enjoyed entertaining parents and athletes, taking visiting coaches and athletes out on the town, and travelling to events and various locales to visit potential recruits and their parents.  He spent many hours on the phone making a significant number of calls to well positioned and connected Dal alumni across the country with a goal of engaging them in the recruitment process. Tom has been one of the greatest ambassadors and promoters of Dalhousie Athletics and his success rate in winning over top recruits and their parents is extremely high.

Tom was also active in assisting coaches in the creation of tournaments such as the Rod Shoveller Memorial Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Centennial Women’s Basketball Tournament. These events serve not only as great competition for Dalhousie’s teams and fans, but also as significant fundraisers for the various programs.

Contributions to sport do not take place only on the field, rinks, or gymnasiums. It is because of people like Tom Lynch, who work so diligently to shape and support the direction that sport has taken at Dalhousie that has earned him a place in the Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame.