We are deeply saddened by the recent passing of Douglas Mitchell, CM, AOE, QC, LLD (BLaws ’62). I wish to express my deepest condolences to his wife, Lois, and their family during this difficult time.
A former player, Commissioner and member of the Board of Governors for the Canadian Football League (CFL), Mr. Mitchell was a central figure in Canadian sports throughout his career. He played varsity football at UBC, and while studying for his law degree, played professionally for the BC Lions. He went on to become co-owner of the Calgary Stampeders. For his many professional and community achievements, he was appointed to the Order of Canada, received the Alberta Order of Excellence, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and, in June 2022, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
A distinguished lawyer, committed volunteer and thoughtful philanthropist, Mr. Mitchell was also a long-time supporter of amateur sport in Canada, especially university athletes. He founded the Borden, Ladner, Gervais Awards that recognizes excellence in Canadian university sport and provides scholarships to the top male and female athletes to pursue graduate studies. He received a UBC Alumni Award of Distinction for his many contributions to the university including serving on the UBC Board of Governors and the Thunderbird Council and acting as lead donor towards the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre that enabled UBC to serve as a host venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Doug and Lois many times over the years to talk about sports and music and our shared dedication to empowering students to pursue excellence in whatever they do. I know I speak for many when I say Douglas Mitchell will be remembered with great fondness and esteem.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor