A sold-out crowd spent the evening last Thursday night (May 17) bidding generously on silent and live auction items, helping the Tigers generate valuable funds for its teams.
Presented by Morneau Shepell, the event saw MC Bruce Rainnie regaled the crowd with the accomplishments of this year’s class of inductees. Canadian Olympic gold medal swimmer and Belong Form speaker Mark Tewksbury was also on hand to deliver a message of belonging and shared stories of his experiences in sport.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Chris Stewart, athlete - Swimming
A competitive swimmer with the Halifax Trojans until the age of 14, Chris Stewart took a hiatus from the pool and focused on other sports like volleyball and basketball during his time at Queen Elizabeth High School. It wasn’t until his freshman year at UNB when he popped by their pool that he felt the pull of the water again. He began regular work outs and was soon training with former Dal swimmer Andrew Cole who was coaching the UNB team at the time.
After training with the Trojans in the summer of 1997, Chris showed up at Dalhousie that September, eight years since he’d swam competitively, to try out for the Tigers squad. Not only did he make the team, he swept the breaststroke events, earning three gold medals at the AUAA conference championships. He followed it up by setting a new conference record in the 50m breaststroke with a sixth-place finish at the CIAU championships the following weekend. He earned conference rookie of the year honours for his efforts in his inaugural season.
In his second year, Chris continued to dominate the breaststroke events. He set new Dalhousie and AUAA records in the 50m and 100m breaststroke events that year and won both events in addition to the 200m IM at the AUAA championships, earning conference all-star status in the process. Chris went on to place sixth in the 50m breaststroke and seventh in the 100m breaststroke at the national championships, smashing the records he had set earlier in the year. Chris earned team MVP honours for the first time in his career while leading the Tigers to their first AUAA championship win of their current 21-year win streak.
Chris achieved a tremendous amount of success in his third season. He led the Tigers to their second-consecutive conference championship with a gold medal sweep of all three breaststroke events and the 200m IM. The AUAA MVP set a new conference record with the second fastest time in the preliminary round of the 100m breaststroke at the national championships but was later disqualified for a turn infraction on the first day of competition. After a disappointing first day, he came back to the pool with a new found determination, earning a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke, swimming two seconds faster than he ever had before in that event. On the third and final day of the championships, he swam to a gold medal in the 50m breaststroke, setting yet another AUAA record while earning Dalhousie’s first gold medal in swimming since 1985. After a spectacular season, Chris was named the Climo Award winner as Dalhousie’s male athlete of the year.
The 2000-01 season was another one for the record books for Chris. In addition to winning all three breaststroke events at the conference championships, he won a fourth gold medal in the 50m freestyle to claim conference swimmer of the year honours for the second-straight season. At the CIAU championship the following week, he doubled his national medal count to earn silver in the 50m breaststroke and set a new AUS record with a bronze in the 100m breaststroke.
Chris earned his degree that spring and trained with Cole at the National Swim Centre, Atlantic for a year before returning to Dalhousie for his fifth and final year in the 2002-03 season. He swept the breaststroke events yet again at the conference championships and added three relay wins as well. He went on to earn his fifth and final national medal, a bronze, as a member of the 4x100m relay team.
Nigel Kemp, Chris’ coach in his first year with the Tigers, saw a lot of potential in him when he first showed up that September. “I found Chris to be somewhat of a diamond in the rough when he chose to get back into competitive swimming at Dalhousie in 1997. At the outset he was a very sprint-oriented athlete with a modest age group background. To his credit he recognized not only the talent he had but also his evolving capacity to significantly contribute to his team as both a freestyle and breaststroke swimmer. His open mindedness in undertaking the challenge of becoming a middle distance, as well as a sprint swimmer, particularly in the most complex of swimming strokes - breaststroke, reflected his appreciation that varsity swimming, with individual and relay events, was very much a team sport. This was an important catalyst and component of his continued development as a competitive swimmer.”
In his five years at Dal, Chris collected five CIAU medals, 18 individual and seven relay conference championship wins and four conference championship banners. A five-time conference all-star, he set and reset five AUAA/AUS records, eight Dalhousie records and eight Nova Scotia records between 1999 and 2003. He also competed at both the 2000 and 2004 Canadian Olympic trials and swam on the World Cup circuit.
He remained connected to swimming after graduation, working with Commonwealth Games Canada and moved to Barbados to establish the first-ever para-swimming program in the Caribbean country.
Karen (Fraser) Moore, athlete -Volleyball
Before landing at Dalhousie in 1979, Karen Fraser grew up in Halifax playing a variety of sports including basketball, badminton, field hockey, tennis and ice hockey in addition to volleyball. She excelled in them all, earning a multitude of MVP and all-star awards along the way.
A member of Nova Scotia’s provincial volleyball team for many years, she led them to a seventh place finish at the Canada Games in 1979 before starting her career at Dalhousie - and what a career it was.
A fourth-generation Dalhousian, Karen was recruited by then-coach Lois MacGregor. She and her teammates were crowned the AUAA champions at the end of the 1979-80 season. Karen earned conference all-star and rookie of the year honours and was named an all-star at the CIAU championship.
The following year, the Tigers lost in the conference championship final, but Karen was still rewarded for her outstanding play with her second AUAA all-star honour and her first CIAU second team all-Canadian award.
Karen and her teammates re-grouped the following season to win the Tigers sixth AUAA title in program history. She was again named an AUAA all-star and was instrumental in winning the program’s first-ever national championship on home turf at Dalplex. A CIAU second team all-Canadian, she shared team MVP honours with fellow Dalhousie hall of famer Karin Maessen at the end of the 1981-82 season.
A member of Canada’s senior national team since 1979, Karen headed to Ottawa to train full time with a commerce degree in hand that spring. When Canada narrowly missed qualifying for the 1984 Olympics, many of the core players retired from international competition, including Karen, who returned to Dalhousie to focus on grad work before re-joining the Tigers for the second half of the season in December of 1983 (after some gentle prodding from Coach McGregor). She had another standout season, leading the Tigers to another conference championship and a silver medal finish at the national championships.
That spring, Cuba decided to boycott the Olympics and Canada was the next team to qualify for the NORCECA berth. Karen was one of two former national team athletes asked to rejoin the young team that had started training for the next quadrennial. Despite their youthful roster, Team Canada had a strong showing at the event in Los Angeles, finishing in eighth place.
Karen returned to campus that fall and assumed the role of head coach of the Dalhousie squad with Coach MacGregor on maternity leave. She led them to a perfect regular season record of 14-0 and the program’s eighth AUAA championship title.
With Coach MacGregor back on the bench the following season, she convinced Karen to return to the floor for her fifth and final year. She led the Tigers to another conference championship win after a 13-0 regular season record and was a CIAU first team all-Canadian in addition to being named the AUAA MVP at the end of the 1985-86 season. The team MVP, she also received the Class of ’55 award as Dalhousie’s female athlete of the year.
Karen’s first foray onto the national stage came as a member of 1978-79 junior national team after leading the Halifax West High School team to a second-straight Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship title. She progressed to the senior team the following year for five years until 1984. In addition to playing in the 1984 Olympics, Karen travelled the globe with Team Canada at the Pan Am Games, the World Student Games, the NORCECA tournament, world championships and multiple World Cup tours, starting in most matches.
Unable to consider playing professionally due to a myriad of injuries, Karen transitioned from volleyball player to full time coach, assuming the reins of the Dalhousie team for five seasons between 1986 and 1991, leading the Tigers to three conference championship titles. She then moved on to working in the athletic department for more than 30 years in various roles, retiring as the Director of Varsity Athletics in 2014.
“I had the honour of coaching Karen for seven years,” says former women’s volleyball coach Lois MacGregor. “She had exceptional skills and was feared for her force and prowess at the net. She always worked hard at practice and in games. She had a real brilliant mind and attitude for the game of volleyball. A real game changer, she could single handedly bring her teammates back into games when we were behind.”
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