Special Olympics Ontario to honour Frank Hayden at Western ceremony

Frank Hayden, credited with the conception and creation of the Special Olympics, will be feted by his family, friends and colleagues at a ceremonial plaque unveiling on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at Western University. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. The plaque, donated by Special Olympics Ontario, will hang permanently outside the lab in Thames Hall, where Hayden, a former Western kinesiology professor, formulated the international movement, which now serves nearly 3.7 million persons with intellectual disabilities in more than 170 countries. 
WHEN: Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Thames Hall, Room 2165

Hayden’s research in the early 1960s inspired him to search for ways to develop a national sports program for intellectually disabled people. A professor emeritus at McMaster University, Hayden also held academic appointments at Western and the University of Toronto. In December 1994, Maclean’s magazine named Hayden to its Honour Role of 12 Outstanding Canadians. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Royal Bank Award and a member of the Order of Canada.

“We are tremendously proud of Frank Hayden’s legacy of the Special Olympics and its connection to Western’s School of Kinesiology. It is an honour for our institution to be the birth place of a movement that involves more than three million people around the globe and makes such a meaningful difference in the lives of so many people,” says Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Jim Weese.

Last year, Western conferred an honorary degree to Hayden in recognition of his contributions as a researcher, visionary and inspirational advocate for the intellectually challenged.