James Perkins

PerkinsThe role of a President differs significantly from most inductees such as athletes, teams, coaches and Athletic Directors. A President must constantly deal with competing interests, and more requests than resources can satisfy, as well as take responsibility to aid in maximizing those resources. He must also judge when to initiate action, when to prod, when to oppose, when to support, and when to stand back when a project is going well. Dr. Perkin has demonstrated a great sense of balance in fulfilling these responsibilities.

It should be recognized, though, that Dr. Perkin is not deficient in personal athletic ability. One of the highlights demonstrating this was his participation, as a student, in the British cross-country run. He has also been well known on the squash and tennis courts.

Standards for recruiting have long been a contentious issue. Dr. Perkin, at the beginning of his term, had the Registrar conduct a survey, part of which was the number of recruited athletes who did not complete their academic programme. The results were not very positive! A similar study towards the end of his term showed much improvement, and a commendably high proportion of Academic All Canadians among Acadia student-athletes.

The annual Bulmer race received high support and prominence during his term, with the President’s team winning most years. Perhaps these victories warrant examination from a recruiting standpoint, as his winning teams included such ringers as Mary Davison and Donnie Lightfoot!

Acadia’s varsity teams enjoyed much success during Dr. Perkin’s term as President, winning national championships in women’s soccer and men’s hockey, conference championships in football and men’s basketball, and fielding consistently competitive teams in all sports.

Dr. Perkin’s term also saw the building of the new Arena, and the improved opportunities it created for both Acadia and the community. He was an enthusiastic supporter of women’s sports and increased opportunities for female athletes. His interest and attendance at athletic events was noted and much appreciated.