Dr.Millard Cherry – Builder


Upon his arrival from Kentucky in 1957 as a Professor in the former School of Theology, Dr. Millard Cherry brought with him a belief that faculty should and would benefit from supporting varsity sports teams. In this regard, he has more than led by example.

Affectionately known as Acadia’s #1 sports fan, he has been widely acknowledged for his enthusiasm at athletic events for the past 40 years.

In fact, Dr. Cherry is almost an institution unto himself. After serving from 1968-1971 as the first Principal of Acadia Divinity College and University Dean of Theology, he returned to the classroom, where he taught Systematic Theology until his retirement in 1987. His service to Acadia, the many students in all programs and to the community at large was honoured in 1988 by awarding him the special sesquicentennial Doctor of Divinity degree.

He has persistently recognized the value of sports and the lessons it can teach, and his interest in Acadia athletics has been unflagging. For instance, when the 1971 men’s basketball squad won the national title, Dr. Cherry invited the entire team to a reception at the Divinity College to celebrate the accomplishment.

His beloved cowbell, presented to him by his students on his 50th birthday, was a fixture at athletic events and often rallied the fans and Acadia teams on to victory. “The former President’s wife, Mrs. Beveridge,” he said, “would always check with me as I arrived at football games to see if I had brought it with me.”
He joked on occasion that it was a “powerful symbol” and was required only at certain key games. It will soon take its rightful place in the Sports Hall of Fame display case alongside his Induction Citation.

Some former athletes still recall receiving a personal letter from Dr. Cherry upon graduation, commenting not only on their achievements, but on his appreciation for their display of good sportsmanship and effort. He would describe how he enjoyed watching them: the way they played and respected the rules of the game.

He is known as a confidant for students and athletes alike and he made it clear that student-athletes should also be serious about their studies. He is part of the fabric that values people and promotes the Acadia family spirit. Dr. Cherry is a sports enthusiast, to be sure, but more importantly, a warm and genuine person with a good heart and strong values.

Please join me in welcoming to the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame, in the Builder category, Dr. Millard Cherry, Acadia’s #1 fan and an outstanding and enduring exemplar of Acadia spirit.