A fixture on evening television for nearly 35 years, most North Americans knew Alex Trebek as host of the popular game show Jeopardy!. To uOttawa, he was a beloved alumnus and one of our community’s most passionate supporters.
Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Alex began his studies at uOttawa in 1957. Among other things, he was a member of the Gee-Gees basketball team, playing for the garnet and grey during his senior year. He graduated with a degree in Classical Philosophy, his major chosen, he later explained, because philosophy classes were held in the morning, allowing him to work in the afternoon and evening to earn his tuition.
As the charismatic host of Jeopardy! Alex displayed a generosity of spirit that was reflected in his lifelong relationship with uOttawa, where we knew him as a unique and caring friend who’s philanthropy promoted civic dialogue. His gifts created the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue, his namesake Innovation and Challenge Fund, as well as his Distinguished Lecture Series and Leadership Award. He was also a significant contributor to the creation of the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall.
Alex spent many years sharing the right questions with the world on Jeopardy!. It is fitting that his gifts will allow future generations of students at uOttawa to continue asking the right questions, and finding important new answers that benefit us all.
- Received an Honourary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa in 1997
- Stars on both the Canada (2006) and Hollywood (1999) Walks of Fame
- 7-time Daytime Emmy award winner, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011
- Awarded the key to the city of Ottawa for “his philanthropy and activism, his unrelenting commitment to higher education, and his steadfast loyalty to the University of Ottawa" in 2016
- In 2017, appointed Officer to the Order of Canada “For his iconic achievements in television and for his promotion of learning, notably as a champion for geographical literacy.”
We pay tribute
"Alex Trebek was one of our most beloved alumni and one of our community's most passionate supporters. We are grateful to Alex and we will miss him." - Jacques Frémont
Continue his remarkable legacy by supporting the Alex Trebek Leadership Award. This scholarship aims to recognize the academic and community involvement achievements of an outstanding undergraduate student who has earned the citation of summa cum laude at convocation.
Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue
The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue is designed to expose students to a wide range of diverse views, through speeches, public panels, events and lectures by uOttawa researchers, senior government officials and guest speakers from around the world.
Alex Trebek Alumni Hall
The Alex Trebek Alumni Hall is a gathering place where alumni can refresh their minds, reconnect with former classmates and rediscover their alma mater. The building also includes the “Alex Trebek Wall,” featuring Trebek’s Emmy Award for outstanding game show host, his Peabody Award for encouraging, celebrating and rewarding knowledge, and an award from World Vision, recognizing his 25 years of service.