(FREDERICTON, NB) Dave Morell has come to be known as Mr. Varsity Red, and on Tuesday his decades of service to UNB were recognized with a President’s Medal.
The President’s Awards, established in 2000, honour outstanding teaching, research and/or service over the span of a career.
Morell was one of a dozen long-serving members of the UNB community to receive a President’s Award.
He’s been a fixture on campus for the better part of a half century.
A proud member of 1972’s graduating class, Morell began his service during his education.
He was manager of the Red Devils hockey team, and even coached the team on an interim basis.
Morell was the first disc jockey at CHSR.
He announced Red Bombers football games.
After graduation, he reported on UNB sports for CFNB radio.
In 2001, Dave returned to the University of New Brunswick, becoming the marketing and special events manager for the Varsity Reds.
The role has been a custom fit, as Dave has promoted UNB’s student athletes and sold the Varsity Reds brand to all corners of Fredericton, the province and region.
As a result of his high profile position, Dave has given willingly to the wider Fredericton area, serving on boards or as emcee at events.
The Chalmers Hospital Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, the Fredericton Terry Fox Run, the Fredericton Rotary Club and United Way are among the dozens of organizations that have benefited from his faithful generosity.
Thousands of UNB students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters know Dave Morell’s voice. They also know of his unending enthusiasm for all things Varsity Reds. Thousands more, throughout the community, know of his dedication too.
Rob Hennigar has seen that dedication from two sides.
First, as a student-athlete, and now, as the associate coach of the men’s hockey team.
“As a student athlete, Dave’s positive nature and willingness to be involved were both helpful and a source of encouragement,” said Hennigar. “As a member of the coaching staff, I see Dave’s involvement as a crucial pillar in our work to achieve goals and the overall experience.”
You don’t have to look far to find people at UNB who’ve been touched by Morell.
“Dave has been a tremendous fan of the team,” said Dan McMorran, head coach of the Varsity Reds men’s volleyball team. “His passion for varsity athletics has improved both the student-athlete and student experience. Dave doesn’t bleed red… he bleeds Varsity Red.”
Morell may still bleed Varsity Red, but will end his formal association with the brand when he retires, at the end of March.
In accepting his President’s Medal, he acknowledged that while he’s leaving the job, he’ll be back as a fan.