July 22, 2022

University of Calgary mourns passing of Douglas Mitchell

Mitchell remembered as an enthusiastic supporter of student athletics, and for fostering the next generation of leaders
Doug Mitchell
U SPORTS’ 56 member universities — including the University of Calgary — are saddened to learn of the passing of Doug Mitchell on July 20, 2022. Dinos Athletics files

The University of Calgary is saddened to learn of the passing of Douglas H. Mitchell, Hon. LLD’06.

A respected business and community leader, Mitchell will be remembered for his dedication to advancing amateur and professional sports in Canada.

Mitchell was a longtime champion of UCalgary, and his significant involvement in our community has positively impacted generations of students. Along with his wife, Lois Mitchell, Hon. LLD’15, former lieutenant-governor of Alberta, Doug generously supported student-athletes, and nurturing their all-around growth and well-being.

Over the years, the Mitchells’ gifts to UCalgary established and contributed to several scholarships and bursaries, including the Mitchell Women’s Athletic Awards. They also supported the Dinos Athletics Football Fund and the University Libraries Fund, among others. Perhaps most notably, they made an endowment gift in 2013 to establish the Dinos LEAD program — which has provided nearly a decade of leadership training for student-athletes.

Doug and Lois Mitchell were also involved in university athletics nationally, helping to raise the profile of Canadian student athletes and founding what became the Lois and Doug Mitchell U SPORTS Athletes of the Year Awards. Since 1993 these awards have been a national celebration of Canada’s top university athletes. In 2002, U SPORTS also renamed one of its national football semi-final games the Mitchell Bowl. 

A former student-athlete himself with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds and then a middle linebacker with the CFL’s B.C. Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Mitchell used his passion for athletics to ensure future generations of students could benefit from his experiences.

After graduating with a bachelor of laws from UBC, Mitchell went on to a successful career in law, which included co-chairing the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He also served terms on the NHL’s Board of Governors and as commissioner of the CFL.

For his many contributions to our country, Mitchell was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004 and inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2007. 

He was also inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame; named Sportsman of the Year by the Calgary Booster Club in 2007; named to the Globe and Mail’s Power 50 of Canadian sports list in 2010; awarded an honorary degree by UCalgary in 2006; inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2019; and, most recently, he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in June 2022.

Mitchell will be remembered by his many loved ones, as well as by the entire UCalgary community for the difference he made in so many lives, here in Calgary and across the country. The campus flags will be lowered in memory of Mitchell on July 25, 2022.

Campus flags will be lowered at the south entrance to main campus near the red Arch.