Keith “Skip” Eaman, Sc’72, is the recipient of the 2013 John B. Stirling Montreal Medal, awarded by the Montreal Branch of the Queen’s University Alumni Association for his contributions to the university. Mr. Eaman is a former Gaels running back and played five seasons in the CFL. He went on to a successful business career in Montreal which included being CEO of a family-run insulation contracting and supply company. He is continually giving back to Queen’s and his former football team, whether by financially supporting Queen’s student athletes or helping to recruit players from Quebec. He recently sat down and chatted with Monica Dingle, Com’02, the Queen’s University Alumni Association Montreal branch president.
Q: Why did you choose Queen’s?
A: My father and I were headed to the University of Toronto to check out the campus and football program. We stopped in Kingston and toured the campus and met with football officials. I loved it and we never continued along Highway 401. We just turned around and went back to Montreal that day and I started at Queen’s in the fall.
Q: What residence did you live in?
A: I spent a year at Mount Allison University. When I arrived at Queen’s I was already in my second year of university therefore I wasn’t able to stay in the student residences on campus, which were for first year students. I had to spend my first year in a motel way up on Princess Street.
Q: Did anyone else in your family attend Queen’s?
A: I met my wife Debbi (Arts/PHE’71) while at Queen’s. My daughter Sarah Eaman (BA '98, SOCY) and nephew Rob Sheldrick (Artsci’94) also attended.
Q: What was it like playing for legendary Queen’s football coach Frank Tindall?
A: Head coaches are all one of a kind and I had a chance to play for a lot of them – both professionally and as an amateur. Frank Tindall was very inspirational. He had a great depth of knowledge for the game of football. I could fully trust whatever strategies he developed for a game.
Q: You are receiving the John B. Stirling Montreal Medal, named in honour of Queen's eighth Chancellor and one of Canada's leading engineers and businessmen. How did you know him?
A: I had a special relationship with Dr. Stirling. I was an engineering grad and early in my career in Montreal Dr. Stirling opened many doors for me by introducing me to important business contacts. I am very grateful for what he did for me.
Q: What did playing football at Queen’s teach you?
A: One of the most valuable lessons I learned at Queen’s didn’t come from the class room. Football shaped my management style. I learned how to work together as a team and the importance of putting your heart into whatever you do in order to succeed.
John B. Stirling Montreal Medal Award Reception, hosted by the Montreal Branch of the QUAA, takes place on June 19 at the Club Saint-James de Montreal. Please RSVP before June 12.