Athletic program inducts five into new Hall of Fame
Over the course of the last two decades‚ the athletic department at Kennesaw State University has grown from a fledgling member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics into one of the premier NCAA Div. II programs in the nation.
(Jan 27, 2003) — Over the course of the last two decades‚ the athletic department at Kennesaw State
University has grown from a fledgling member of the National Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics into one of the premier NCAA Div. II programs in the nation.
Recently‚ members of the campus community gathered at the Jolley Lodge to recognize four administrators and one athlete who helped Kennesaw State forge its athletic identity. Together‚ Dr. Betty L. Siegel‚ James "Spec" Landrum‚ Dr. Herb Davis‚ Roger Hopkins and Jenifer Turner−Reid make up the inaugural class for Kennesaw State’s newly established athletic Hall of Fame.
"The time is right‚" said Dr. Dave Waples‚ director of athletics for KSU. "This gives us a perfect opportunity to honor in person the people who started the program.
"Each of these people has contributed immensely to KSU and KSU athletics‚" he noted in his opening remarks. "All four of these administrators‚ and our first All−American (Turner−Reid)‚ are very deserving."
Siegel‚ Kennesaw State’s president since 1981‚ was the driving force behind the inception of intercollegiate athletics at what was then Kennesaw College. In his introduction‚ Waples said‚ "You are responsible. You’re the coach‚ and we’ll do anything that you want us to do."
Siegel voiced amazement at the strides the athletic program has made. "I can think of no university that’s done as well as we have so quickly‚" she said.
Reasons for that success include the leadership provided by Landrum‚ the school’s first athletic director. A successful athlete – at both South Georgia Junior College and Mercer University – Landrum later served as an assistant under legendary football coaches Wally Butts at Georgia and Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech. He hit the ground running after being asked to organize and administer the Kennesaw program‚ and within five years‚ the institution boasted competitive teams in a variety of sports.
"We were fortunate‚" Landrum said. "We had lots and lots of fine young athletes who came to KSU to get an education and to play sports."
While Landrum was the university’s first athletic director‚ Davis initiated the position of faculty athletic representative. In that capacity‚ he has demonstrated a commitment to helping athletes succeed‚ not only on the playing fields‚ but also in the classroom. "All too often‚" he noted‚ "institutions fail to realize the challenges athletes face."
Davis is proud of the work KSU has done in that regard. "We established an athletic program with integrity‚" he said.
Like Davis‚ Hopkins possesses a keen interest in athletics. He headed up the intercollegiate athletic committee for a decade and also served a long stint as athletic business manager. The institution’s first vice president for business and finance and a charter member of the Owl Booster Club‚ Hopkins has continued to be an avid supporter of KSU athletics since his retirement and has great respect for the dual role student−athletes choose to play.
"Everyone knows I love sports‚ and I love athletes‚" he said. "They go the extra mile."
One such athlete was Turner−Reid‚ a standout in track and field who also played basketball for the Lady Owls. A three time NAIA All−American in track and field‚ she helped Kennesaw claim a district championship in 1986‚ the first team title in the history of the school.
"It’s an honor and privilege to be here today to accept this award‚" said Turner−Reid‚ who used the undergraduate education she received at Kennesaw State as a springboard to a master’s degree and a career in social services.
Kennesaw State will recognize its current and future Hall of Fame inductees in the convocation/classroom building‚ which will become the athletic department’s new home upon completion in 2004.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.