Saluting Champions Past and Present

September 12, 2016

This coming weekend boasts a full schedule of Yale athletic events, occasions when we can all turn out to support our student athletes. Home action includes women’s and men’s soccer, field hockey, and the first football game of the season in the Yale Bowl. The golf, volleyball, cross country, sailing, and men’s tennis teams will also be competing. I am already looking forward to catching some of the action and keeping my fingers crossed for fine weather.

Yale’s athletic programs have a storied history, and few places on campus have played a greater role in Yale historyand our sporting historythan Mory’s. From the traditions dating to the club’s opening in the late 1800s to the names of students that are carved into the tables, Mory’s has become both a favorite community gathering place and an informal museum of university treasures. 

Earlier this year, the “collection” at Mory’s acquired a new jewel, one that Marta and I love to enjoy on every visit. The Thomas A. Beckett Hall of Champions, in the corridor that runs from the main restaurant back to the Temple Bar, brings the triumphs of Yale’s scholar-athletes to vivid new life. In honor of our formidable Athletic Director Tom Beckett, the walls are lined with photographs of Yale Bulldogs present and past, and an interactive video display makes it possible to search for images of every Yale Ivy League championship team since 1956. (Also engaging is the historical tribute to our inimitable bulldog mascot, from the first incarnation born circa 1889 to the late and much beloved Sherman, Handsome Dan XVII.) I tip my hat to Mory’s President Tom Ketchum (who himself played Yale football as a member of the Class of 1972) for spearheading this beautiful project that honors not only our generations of outstanding scholar-athletes but also the gifted director of Yale athletics who has made so many of their successes possible.

Each summer—much like our faculty, staff, and students—Mory’s pauses to refresh and renew. But now, with the start of the semester, with students back and the fall’s athletic schedule underway, the footsteps of today’s Yalies can once again be heard echoing down the hallway that celebrates those who have come before them.