William Parker- 1956

William “Bill” Parker, a graduate of Drummondville High School in Quebec, came to Acadia during the fall of ’52. For four academic years as he pursued his studies leading towards a major in economics, he devoted much time to the extracurricular activities of Acadia. Being a Students’ Council representative, chairman of the Athletic Awards Committee, a star performer on the varsity track and field, golf and hockey teams, he was voted Campus King in February of 1956 and ultimately chosen Life President of his graduating class.

As a member of Major Fred Kelly’s track and field teams for four seasons that captured Maritime Intercollegiate crowns on three occasions, he was a teammate of such luminaries as Jack Clarke, Jack Garnett, Peter Watson, “Bunty” Forde, Jim Sears, Jeff Davidson, and Bill Mack, each of whom established outstanding times and distances in their respective events. On the golf course Bill Parker, an outstanding junior performer in his native province, represented the University well in three Maritime Intercollegiate championship rounds.

Although very effective in both of these varsity sports, it was, however, in hockey that he made his greatest impact as an Axeman, being a valuable member for four seasons, while serving as team captain during his junior and senior years.

During his rookie season of’ 52-53 –and being a teammate of experienced performers AI Peppard and Connie MacNeil, netminder Al Baker and all –he alternated the campaign between defense and right wing. In playoff losses to Windsor and St. F .X. in Valley and intercollegiate competition respectively, Parker shared accolades with Baker, Jim MacVicar and “Moe” Caldwell.

In his sophomore season with Major Kelly’s Axemen, he was a member of an outstanding offensive unit that also included Don Caldwell and Kaye Huet.

During the ’54-’55 season Captain Parker skated tirelessly in a rare Axemen victory over St. F.X. In the highly successful Fred Kelly Night contest against Saint Mary’s, he and teammates battled valiantly to a 7-7 tie. In Nova Scotia intercollegiate action during his senior year, the Axemen’ s on-ice leader was particularly outstanding in 6-2 and 4-3 victories over Dalhousie, sharing offensive heroics with Dunc Jewell and Terry Henderson. Finishing the schedule with six victories and two losses, the team inspired by the fine two-way performance of Parker, a game-winning marker by Don Caldwell and superb netminding by Jim Taylor, defeated Saint Mary’s 4-3, earning a birth into the finals against the powerful St. Francis Xaverians.

Seven years following graduation Bill Parker returned to Acadia when Dr. Erik Hansen, then President of the Associated Alumni, hired him as the University’s first Alumni Director. Serving in this capacity for a number of years, he won the admiration and friendship of a countless number of Acadia graduates scattered around the globe.

During his tenure as Director of Alumni and later as Vice-President (External Relations), he participated in the raising of funds which brought about the extension to the War Memorial Gymnasium in 1968 and the new Acadia Arena officially opened in 1988. He also established, in cooperation with the University and the Alumni Executive, “The Alumni Award Program” which through the Annual Alumni Fund raised dollars in support of student athletes. Bill also participated in the establishment of the Acadia Hockey Honour Roll and the Sports Hall of Fame. On the occasion of his retirement this past June, Bill received many tributes in recognition of his thirty-plus years of outstanding service as Acadia’s No.1 Ambassador.

What an honor it is to welcome for induction to the Sports Hall of Fame this former Axemen hockey captain and a gentleman who for over three decades has been recognized by the University’s Family as “Mr. Acadia”.