The bright blue, eight-lane track at the new Varsity Centre sports a new name – the John L. Davenport track – thanks to a gift from the family of the late Varsity pole vault champion and 1929 chemical engineering grad.
The Davenport Family Foundation has donated $1.7 million to the Varsity Centre campaign, which aims to raise a total of $70 million for the stadium and track, arena renovations and the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport. John Davenport’s son Peter says his father strived to get the most from his U of T experience. “Dad tried to do more than just the academic routine,” says Peter.“If he were alive today and this opportunity came up, he would write a cheque instantly. It was that important to him.”
John developed a successful athletic career while taking a full engineering course load. He won the Canadian pole vault championship in 1928 and the following year led the Varsity Blues to the coveted Intercollegiate Track Trophy.
“John Davenport’s academic and athletic accomplishments are the ideal reflection of the philosophy behind the new Varsity Centre, which will contribute to the fullness of the student experience at U of T,” says Bruce Kidd, dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Health.
The Davenport Family Foundation has previously supported the John and Edna Davenport Chemical Research Building and the renovated Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories at U of T.