April 25, 2012
BU Today: The Mayor of Terrier Nation (Feb. 2011)
For over 40 years, Elliot Driben has made an unprecedented impact on Boston University Athletics. He has attended over 5,000 BU sporting events, donated to every team, and--most importantly--befriended generations of student-athletes, coaches, and fans.
On May 6, Boston University is proud to honor Elliot Driben's tireless commitment to Terrier Athletics by naming the Case Center entrance "Elliot Driben Lobby." We cordially invite you to join student-athletes, coaches, former players, friends, family, and fans to celebrate Elliot and his tremendous legacy of friendship and passionate support.
"Elliot Driben Lobby" Naming Reception
Sunday, May 6, 2012
The Roof at Case Center Gymnasium (Boston, MA)
This is a free event. Light desserts will be provided.
Click here to RSVP for the event.
A veteran of over 5,000 Boston University athletic events, Elliot Driben is as synonymous with Terrier Athletics as the school's mascot, Rhett.
Elliot, who has been affected by cerebral palsy since childhood, began his association with BU as a 10-year-old in 1955 when he took speech courses at the University on Saturday mornings with Professor Abbot Murphy. That same year, Elliot attended his first-ever live sporting event when the Cleveland Indians visited Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox. From that point on, he was hooked on sports and all the stats that come with them.
Thanks to the generosity of Professor Murphy, Elliot attended his first BU sporting event when Syracuse came to town to take on the Terriers in football. Despite a lopsided defeat, a true fan of the Scarlet and White was born on the night of Nov. 7, 1958, at old Braves Field.
As a student at Brookline High School, his special education teacher, Clem McCann, happened to be the school's varsity hockey coach. Before long, Elliot was a team manager and statistician for the school's hockey, basketball, baseball and soccer teams. He earned his diploma and then headed into the workforce, taking a clerical job with John Hancock that he held for over 30 years.
It was Tim Regan, a standout goaltender for the Terriers' back-to-back NCAA championship teams in 1971 and 1972, who welcomed Elliot into the BU hockey family in the fall of 1968. As a freshman at BU in 1968, Regan was in one of Professor Murphy's classes and was introduced to Elliot, who had returned to campus to take another speech class. Regan left tickets for him for the Terriers' next game, and before long, Elliot had met the rest of the team and developed the first of hundreds of long-lasting friendships with the student-athletes of BU.
Right before the Terriers moved into Walter Brown Arena in 1971, Elliot began volunteering his time providing hockey fans - at the suggestion of then-Northeastern athletic director Herb Gallagher - with what affectionately became known as the The Driben Report. This one-sheet insert was available in game programs and also in the press box (where it was nicknamed "The Dribble") and provided updated standings and results from the ECAC. He would trade scores late at night or the morning after with WMPL's Bob Olson, who was the voice of the Michigan Tech Huskies and the originator of the first national college hockey poll. As each regular season wound down, Elliot also started providing the local media with a sheet providing all the potential playoff scenarios.
In 1983, Elliot began traveling with the men's hockey team and reported back to sports information director Ed Carpenter with scores and goals when football games prevented Carpenter from making the trip. After becoming a fixture with the hockey program, Elliot started supporting several other Terrier squads throughout the rest of the 1980s, as he became a familiar face at Nickerson Field and Case Gym.
His involvement was able to hit new levels in December of 1991, when he moved into his own apartment on Babcock Street. Suddenly, his backyard was the BU athletic campus, and he could easily hop on one of the team buses to take in games from across the region.
Over 50 years after attending his first BU sporting event, Elliot continues to keep up with the busy athletic calendar and can be found cheering on his beloved Terriers from his perch in centerfield at softball games, from above the south-end goal at Walter Brown Arena, from the dock of the DeWolfe Boathouse, from Eilberg Lounge to take shelter from inclement weather at soccer and lacrosse games on Nickerson Field or at his designated spots at each of the other venues.
His generosity to the department has been nothing short of incredible. He joined the Friends of BU Hockey in 1972 and has donated to the program every year since. A decade later, Elliot began his annual tradition of donating money to every BU athletic program. As time went on, he also gave annually to the fund for the student-athlete academic support center. His support of the athletic communications department allowed a plaque honoring his parents and sisters to be displayed in the press box at Agganis Arena.
Elliot's greatest gift to the University, however, has been his ability to connect with the student-athletes over the years. Each fall, dozens of freshmen make up a new group of Terriers and it does not take them long to spot Elliot. Within no time, an upperclassman, coach or staff member provides an introduction, and the newcomers quickly find out that they have made a true friend.
His genuine interest for the young adults who become Terriers stretches far beyond the playing fields, as he has been just as concerned with their academic successes. He has kept tabs on hundreds of students over the years, making sure they get the most they can out of their time on campus.
The Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame has twice honored Elliot - first in 1993, with a Special Recognition Award the same year that Regan was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and most recently in 2010, when he received the Roger "Moose" Washburn Memorial Award, honoring his continuous unselfish support to the BU athletic program.
While Elliot's collection of BU memorabilia and apparel ranks second to none, his passion, support and loyalty to the University is immeasurable. He has touched the lives of countless student-athletes, coaches and staff members here at BU and will forever be known as the Mayor of Terrier Nation.