Whether you are a regular visitor to the Activities and Recreations Center (ARC) or you have simply been inside only to look around at the amenities the ARC has to offer, there is a pretty good chance you have stumbled upon the Wall of Fame. The famous Wall of Fame: rows upon rows of pictures lining the wall in the first floor of the ARC next to the weight room, showing the pictures of individual and team champions in Intramural (IM) Sport competitions during a given quarter of the school year. Many students hope to be put on this wall one day and crowned a UC Davis champion.
The Wall of Fame was started in the late 1960s by Gary J. Colberg, then the director of IM Sports. Colberg made many strong additions to the IM program during his time at UC Davis, including establishing women’s flag football in 1967 and co-ed flag football in 1969, the first of these IM sports to be created on any American campus and a major step during a time when women’s sports were hardly recognized. Colberg cemented his legacy by establishing new IM programs at UC Davis and creating the wall for past, present and future generations to see.
“Prior to [the ARC] getting built, the wall was all over the Pavilion,” said Ben Dao, the interim assistant director of Intramural Sports. “About ten years ago, we archived and scanned them all to make digital copies. The earliest pictures we have are from 1968.”
Originally, the wall was meant as visual advertising in order to entice more students into playing IM sports on campus. Some of the first photos developed for the wall took place inside Hickey Gym in the IM darkroom. When the ARC was built, the policy of the wall changed, limiting the time that a student is up there to one year. The photo is then scanned into the archives.
“I think it is definitely one of the biggest incentives,” Dao said. “I hear college students talk about wanting to have their picture on the Wall of Fame as something they want to accomplish. It is very important to students.”
Kelly Finn, a now-third-year Ph.D. student in the Animal Behavior program at UC Davis, won the Women’s Open IM Tennis Singles in the fall of 2016 and had her picture placed on the Wall of Fame as a reward.
“I participated quite a bit in IM sports,” Finn said. “I did a lot of team sports but I played tennis growing up and so it was fun to play a sport in IM that I was familiar with. When I started going to the gym I thought it would be super cool to have my picture up there. We didn’t have the expectation of winning so when I decided to play a sport I was competitive in, it was a goal to be up there.”
For those students who have the goal of being up on the wall but do not want to experience a high competitive level of play, Dao had some advice.
“The best way to get on the wall is probably to play the more obscure sports where there isn’t as much competition,” Dao said. “But for students in general, it is a point of pride to be able to get on that wall.”
The Wall of Fame is a staple of the UC Davis campus that highlights the strength and popularity of the UC Davis intramural sports program.
“It’s really cool,” Finn said. “You can see all the different people that have played and how many different IM leagues there actually are. It’s a great way to connect people.”
Written by: Ryan Bugsch — firstname.lastname@example.org