Campus Life

A tribute to Dr. Senda

On Sept. 9, 2009, the U of L community was saddened by the loss of a valued member of its family, Dr. Yosh Senda (LLB '89). His life stands as a testament to the difference one person can make.

Dr. Senda is especially remembered as a passionate supporter of judo. With a ninth degree black belt, he was the highest-ranking judo black belt in Canada and is credited for the strong tradition of judo in Lethbridge and at the University. He represented the sport at every level and gained international recognition for his successful teaching methods.

His many students will recall the quiet, humble approach to the sport taken by this soft-spoken giant of Canadian judo. Dr. Senda's attitude to the sport, and to life generally, is best described by his own philosophy: "You can better yourself by always showing respect for others, and to always give it your best in whatever you do."

In addition to a long list of awards and accomplishments, Dr. Senda was awarded the Order of Canada in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to the development and expansion of judo in Canada for more than five decades.
His many years of instruction and his long list of personal achievements have touched people across Canada and have established many friendships. Dr. Senda's memory lives on in those who were influenced by his teachings and continue his philosophy in their own ways.

None of this would have been possible without the support of Florence, his wife of 62 years, a fourth degree black belt, who manages the Senda household, coaches and encourages athletes, paying special attention to the younger participants.

The University is proud to maintain the Dr. Yoshio and Florence Senda Scholarship Fund, which recognizes the Sendas' commitment to community involvement. This scholarship will be awarded for the first time this fall to Faculty of Management student Brian George.

"Dr. Yosh and Florence Senda have achieved great things and it is a tremendous honour to receive this award," says George, who is only the first student to be touched by gifts given in Dr. Senda's name.

For more information on this award, or other ways you can make a difference in the lives of students, visit