Elizabeth Vermeulen- (Builder)

Elizabeth Vermeulen, who attended grades ten and eleven at Central Kings Rural High and grade twelve at the recently opened Horton District High School, was certainly an all-round student who excelled in both academics and athletics. Ranked first in her graduation class at Horton and selected to be her school’s first valedictorian, Elizabeth entered U.N.B. during the fall of 1960. Graduating in May of ’63 with a Bachelor of Physical Education degree, Liz-as she is most often called-was naturally involved in varsity sports, being part of an era of U .N .B. supremacy in Maritime Intercollegiate Athletics.

In subsequent years Miss Vermeulen was engaged in further studies, graduating from the University of Oregon in August of 1972 with a Master of Science Degree, majoring in Adapted Physical Education, Administration and Health Education. During the academic year of ‘82-’83 she again was enrolled at the University of Oregon, doing graduate studies toward a Doctoral Degree.

Following three years of teaching and coaching at Horton District, Liz came to Acadia during the fall of ’66 as a “one-year replacement”-resulting from a late resignation. Her letter of appointment stated that she would “coach all women’s sports, except swimming, and teach the required physical education courses for females.” Liz certainly did all of that and more during her three decades of teaching and coaching at Acadia. During her initial year of ’66-’67 she coached two field hockey teams, a volleyball squad, two basketball teams and the women’s curling team. She also taught all the first-year female students in the required physical education programme and instructed in an elective course for the School of Education. She also, of course, became very involved in course instruction when the School of Recreation and Physical Education in ’74-’75 offered students an opportunity to receive B.A. or B.Sc. degrees in Recreation and Physical Education.

From a coaching standpoint Liz enjoyed many fine moments. For a dozen or so seasons she coached the Field Hockey teams, always presenting competitive clubs that gave the top contenders stiff opposition. A highlight of her eight-season stint as coach of the varsity basketball Axettes occurred during the spring of ’74, when her court performers led by sharpshooter Betty Jean White captured the Atlantic region’s intermediate championship. High, too, on her list of fond memories was the winter of ’67 when her curlers skipped by Patsy Spencer captured the initial Maritime Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s title by sweeping aside both Dalhousie and U.N.B. Subsequently Liz accompanied her team to Calgary where they won a bronze medal at the “Second Century” national Olympiad Tournament and ultimately a spot in the Acadia Hall of Fame.

Professionally, Liz has been a tireless and effective member of associations established to promote intercollegiate sports. As a member since ’62 of the Canadian Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, she contributed immensely to such founding programmes as the Adapted Program and Teacher Education in P.E. Fittingly, in 1987, she was made a “Fellow of CAHPER”! Miss Vermeulen was also very involved in the founding committee that established in Nova Scotia the Teachers’ Association of Physical Education.

In the sport of field hockey, she has been involved in all aspects of its development. For example, she was the first president of the Nova Scotia Women’s Field Hockey Association established in 1968. From ’68 to ’69 she was a committee member of the Canada Games Society for the initial ’69 Summer Games held in Halifax. In addition, she was named Coordinator and Manager of the provincial Field Hockey Team for the ’69 Games and was, along with five of her varsity Axettes, a team member.

Included in an impressive list of achievements for this Kings County resident, who briefly during the ’79-’80 academic year was Acting Dean in the School of Recreation and Physical Education, was her involvement in numerous university committees- including the Senate and the Board of Governors. In fact, Liz chaired the Status of Women Committee the year that it “successfully obtained the equity officer position for Acadia”.

Complementing her work at the university, Liz has contributed to such community athletic associations as the New Minas Recreation and the Ken- W o Golf and Country Club. With the latter, for example, she has served on the Board of Governors and was the club’s first female president, serving from ’94-’96. Now actively involved in playing golf, Liz has become one of Nova Scotia’s most competent performers in senior women’s championship play.

What an honour it is to welcome for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, Elizabeth Vermeulen …for some thirty years an outstanding teacher, coach and administrator of women’s intercollegiate athletics.