In the spring of 1996, a group of students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, department administrators and Dean's office representatives teamed up with Professor Ira Herman, Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Physiology, to create the Sackler Relays. In its original conception, the Sackler Relays were launched as a mechanism to raise funds for the Scientific Travel Program to support outstanding Sackler students so that they could present their research findings at major international and national scientific meetings. Several recipients are selected each semester. Every summer, the Graduate Student Counsel solicits funds for the Relays from faculty and staff and from outside companies. Donations, however, are always welcome!
This event has become one of Sackler's most cherished traditions. The fun-filled afternoon of athletic events, the barbeque, and the raffle that raises funds to support the Travel Award program brings our entire community together. The Sackler Relays bring each of the graduate programs together. Each program assembles a team of students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, summer trainees and other interested program members to compete in a series of athletic events. Activities have changed over the years and have included events such as the mile run, 4x200 meter relay race, bicycle relay race, volleyball, tug o’ war, golf chip, obstacle course, and faculty dunk tank.
Since its inception, the first and last place finishing teams have been separated only by a point indicating how close and exciting the competition actually is. The lead usually changes hands several times during the events. Immediately following the athletic events, competitors, colleagues, friends and family members enjoy a barbecue, and take part in a raffle with outstanding prizes. The Sackler Cup commemorates the winning team.