There are fans and then there are fans.
When Acadia Axemen Football captured the AUS championship title in a 45-38 overtime shootout win over the Saint Mary's Huskies on Raymond Field November 14, Acadia fans were cheering!
This Saturday, November 18, the squad suits up to host the OUA champions Western Mustangs in the U SPORTS Uteck Bowl starting at 1:30 p.m. at Raymond Field. In the stands and watching on screens around the globe will be football alumni who still feel like part of the team. And, that's because they are as donors.
"Giving back to a team is an incredible thing to do," says Nancy Handrigan, Acadia's Executive Director of Philanthropy. "Support from our varsity athlete alumni helps elevate a team's ability to compete; it tells the players they are part of something bigger than themselves and that contribution makes a significant difference."
Gordon Lummis ('59) was part of Acadia's first football team and attended its 50th reunion during Homecoming in 2016.
“I have been cheering for the Axemen ever since I stepped off the field myself 61 years ago. It was exciting to be part of that first football team and to see the development of football at Acadia to where it is today. We are so proud of our university and varsity teams and are always pleased to make a donation to help them get ahead."
His message to the team as he watches from Florida, "Go Axemen!”
Derek Smith (’05) is adding his cheer, "Go Acadia," from his home in London, UK. Although it's only been 12 years since he graduated, he says he gives back because of what he got from his experience on the team and at Acadia.
“Being part of the Acadia Axemen taught me leadership skills, a commitment to excellence, teamwork and a lot of other life skills. I give because I am grateful for my experience at Acadia, I am inspired by the quality of the student-athletes and wish to support the incredible opportunities offered at Acadia.”
Axemen Football alumnus Bruce Galloway (’68, Hon. ’03) (shown above with Axemen Football Coach Jeff Cummins) contributes monthly to Acadia Athletics because he knows it takes the financial pressure off the program and allows student-athletes to achieve their best on and off the field.
“Axemen pride has no equal is more than a slogan; it is the truth. I am proud to give back to my team,” he says.
Lou Delaney (’58) agrees, “I had a great time at Acadia as part of the first Axemen football team, so I am happy to show my support with donations to the program. What happens on Raymond Field goes way beyond there and into the lives of the players for years to come.”
It's a sentiment shared by Don MacLean ('57). "Acadia's football program is strong - great coacing, exceptional training, and Acadia's traditional values are key elements," he says. "I support the team and their facilities because I want them to have every opportunity to be the best they can be."
UPDATE: The Mustangs beat Acadia soundly 81-3 and went on the capture the national title 39-17 over Laval.
1956 Axemen football players: front row (kneeling): Don MacVicar, Don MacLean, Wendell Kerr, Cal Annis; back row: Ray Tonge, Brian Purdy, Lou Delaney, Don MacPherson, Gordon Lummis, and Ralph Taylor.