Last weekend the Lawrence University Hall of fame got quite a bit larger, when the entire 1967 football team was inducted. The team was inducted in honor of the 1967 season, where it was undefeated. This feat earned the the football team a conference championship.
Over the course of the 1967 season, the Vikings proved time and time again their dominance, and mastery of the game. Over the course of the season, Lawrence football threw down all eight of its challengers, averaging 26 points per game, and only allowing an average of 8 points per game.
In line with the 50th anniversary of the undefeated season, the team was invited back to campus to be honored for their accomplishments, and to be inducted into the hall of fame. The induction ceremony took place at the Intercollegiate Athletic Viking Hall of Fame Dinner, on October 13.
At the dinner, members of each of the three classes represented on the 1967 team spoke. Only three classes were represented, as in 1967, freshmen were not permitted to take part in varsity athletics, in order to allow a greater focus on academics in one’s first year of college. Thus, representatives of the 1967 sophomore, junior, and senior classes shared their thoughts on football, the 1967 season, and life after Lawrence.
Of the season itself, the speakers spoke to their pitfalls and triumphs, of their proudest moments, and of their fondly remembered embarrassments. Most importantly, the speakers touched on what it meant to be on a team. A tight knit community working and playing for each other. And what a team it was. The terror of the Midwest conference.
Overwhelmingly, those who spoke also talked about the lasting impact athletics had upon their lives. The speakers shared memories of times when their experiences in athletics helped them to overcome challenges in their later lives. They shared how their time on the football field had bettered them, making them ready for their life after Lawrence. They shared how Lawrence Athletics had been a fundamental part of their education.
Finally, the speakers called upon Lawrence’s administration to continue supporting athletics. The speakers called upon the university to continue pushing to make the athletic department the best it can be. Football, clearly enriched the lives of the 1967 football team, just as Lawrence Athletics has continued to enrich lives to this day. The team called for this same enrichment to be offered to today’s Vikings, and to Vikings of the future.
Football brought together a group of Lawrentians, forging connections that have lasted a lifetime.