Bennett to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award


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Cleveland, Ohio --The Officers and Executive Committee of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) have selected their award recipients for the 2003-04 year. Award recipients include Russ Gardiner of Sonoma State University as the Volunteer of the Year; Dirk Katstra of the University of Virginia as the Fund Raiser of the Year; James Duratz of the University of Pittsburgh as the University Division Donor of the Year; Mildred White of South Dakota State University as the College Division Donor of the Year; and George Bennett of Clemson University and John Kates of Stanford University as recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards. Additionally, Jenilee Garner of the University of Florida received the NAADD Postgraduate Scholarship. Garner will receive a $2,000 grant to be used toward postgraduate studies. She was required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be a full-time senior and be planning to pursue a graduate degree in intercollegiate athletics administration with an emphasis on collegiate fund raising. Award winners will be recognized at NAADD's 11th Annual Workshop, June 11-14 at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas at the Academy Directors' Cup Awards Luncheon on Sunday, June 13. NAADD is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of athletics development and fund raising. NAADD is administered by NACDA, which is now in its 39th year. NACDA serves as the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 college athletics directors, associates, assistants and conference commissioners at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Through its series of management seminars, clinics and workshops and publication of the bi-monthly magazine Athletics Administration, NACDA offers educational opportunities to its members. More than 1,200 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, the Association operates the United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup program, which honors the all-sports champion in each of the NCAA Divisions -- I, II, III -- and the NAIA, for a total of four trophies. A brief biological sketch of each of the honorees follows: Lifetime Achievement Award George Bennett, Clemson University George Bennett has served three extended terms on the Clemson University campus. As an undergraduate student, Bennett instituted the firing of the cannon after Clemson touchdowns during football games, a tradition that lives on 50 years later. He returned to Tiger athletics in the 1960s as an alumni field officer, later moving on to become assistant athletics director for business and then executive director of IPTAY. His leadership led to a doubling of IPTAY contributions and an increase in membership. His third term, which began in 1993, again as executive director of IPTAY, Bennett created two additional components, an endowment program and the Tiger Cub program. Although he is retiring this month, Bennett's service to the Clemson community will remain memorialized in an endowment that has been created in his name. His extensive efforts were rewarded in 1984 when Bennett was named National Athletics Fund Raiser of the Year and again in 2001 with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award. He was inducted into Clemson's Athletics Hall of Fame and received the university's Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. Volunteer of the Year
Russ Gardiner, Sonoma State University It took just four days for Russ Gardiner's innovation to save Sonoma State University from its impending move to NCAA Division III status. In the wake of the NCAA's ruling that Division II institutions must award at least $250,000 in athletics scholarships by 2005 to maintain status, Sonoma State was in jeopardy of dropping to Division III standing if it could not significantly increase its funds from the $160,000 raised in 2003. As the volunteer assistant athletics director for marketing and development, Gardiner initiated new and creative fund raising ideas such as the "Swirl and Swish," a wine tasting and silent auction event. His most unique idea came in October 2003, when he decided to purchase a thoroughbred racehorse and sell 100 shares of the horse for $1,000 per share, with half the proceeds going directly to the Sonoma State athletics scholarship fund. The idea was wildly successful, as shares of the first two horses were sold within four days and a waiting list formed immediately for the third and fourth horses. In addition to his marketing and promotions duties, Gardiner served as volunteer assistant men's basketball coach in 2002-03 and currently serves as volunteer assistant coach for Sonoma State's new men's golf team. Fund Raiser of the Year Dirk Katstra, University of Virginia Since attending the University of Virginia as a men's basketball student-athlete, Dirk Katstra has remained steadfast in his devotion to Cavalier athletics and continues to foster the program's development today as executive director of the Virginia Athletics Foundation. Upon graduation, Katstra served an internship in the Virginia promotions and marketing department, joining the Foundation in 1992 as assistant director for annual giving and later ascending to the role of executive director in 1996. While the Foundation does not receive any institutional funds, it remains responsible for funding the academic affairs program, capital projects and athletics scholarships for 25 Cavalier teams. In 2003, Katstra led the Foundation as it gained more than 1,200 new donors and surpassed its annual fund goal of $10.1 million. As executive director, Katstra also oversees the current fund-raising efforts for the construction of the $129.8 million John Paul Jones basketball arena and has been instrumental in the accumulation of the Foundation's $40 million endowment. Since January 2003, Katstra has also performed supervisory duties for the university's media relations and marketing and promotions departments and the ticket office as the associate director of athletics for external affairs. University Division Donor of the Year James Duratz, University of Pittsburgh When it comes to contributing to the University of Pittsburgh athletics department, James Duratz does not discriminate. With gifts ranging from endowed scholarships to annual gifts to donations to the marching band, Duratz has remained a dedicated donor to Pitt athletics since the 1970s. Over the years, Duratz has contributed $3.7 million to the Panthers' program, most of which has been in the form of funding for capital improvements. The Duratz Athletic Complex, housing the football training and practice facilities, was the result of his most substantial gift. He has also been instrumental in the construction of the Peterson Events Center and the locker rooms in Heinz Field, the Panthers' football stadium. In addition to his extensive athletics contributions, Duratz has given generously to the University of Pittsburgh law school and the University of Pittsburgh Titusville campus. Not only has he donated more than $13 million to the greater University of Pittsburgh system, but he is also an avid philanthropist in the Meadville, Pennsylvania community. In 2003, Duratz was honored as the Meadville Man of the Year for his financial support, including gifts to fund memberships to the Meadville YMCA and a $500,000 donation to the Community Athletic Project to renovate area athletics facilities. College Division Donor of the Year Mildred White, South Dakota State University The fact that Mildred White never attended South Dakota State University and that her husband was enrolled for just 10 weeks did not deter her desire to contribute to the university athletic department. After attending South Dakota State and participating on the track team for less than a semester, White's husband, Roger, was forced to put educational plans on hold to seek employment in the wake of the Great Depression. The couple remained loyal supporters of Jackrabbit athletics though, leading to Mildred's desire to establish an endowed track and field scholarship in her husband's name following his death in 1972. What began as two endowed scholarships in 1992 became five by 1996, and will eventually total 17 by means of the $2.75 million estate gift that White left to South Dakota State athletics upon her death in 2002. Although White's first two scholarships were earmarked for track and field and cross country student-athletes, South Dakota administrators will disperse the remaining awards among a variety of Jackrabbit sports. White's generosity to the South Dakota State community also extended beyond athletics, with her gift of $350,000 in 1997 to complete renovation on the South Dakota Art Museum. Lifetime Achievement Award John Kates, Stanford University Despite his retirement in 2003, John Kates' imprint on the Stanford University athletics landscape will remain indelible for years to come. In almost 30 years with the Cardinal as director of major gifts, Kates was instrumental in generating funding for construction of facilities including the Arrillaga Family Sports Center, Avery Aquatic Center and Cobb Track, as well as the renovation of the Sunken Diamond and Maples Pavilion. The department's scholarship endowment also enjoyed tremendous growth during Kates' tenure and will continue to be bolstered in his retirement by means of the two fully endowed scholarships his family has committed to providing for Cardinal student-athletes. After earning his bachelor's degree from Stanford, Kates received his master's from Columbia University and took a position as a management analyst with ACTION. He returned to Palo Alto in 1975 to accept a position on the Stanford Internal Audit staff, later serving in Corporate Relations in the General Secretary's Office before his appointment to Major Gifts in 1984. Lifetime Achievement Award George Bennett, Clemson University George Bennett has served three extended terms on the Clemson University campus. As an undergraduate student, Bennett instituted the firing of the cannon after Clemson touchdowns during football games, a tradition that lives on 50 years later. He returned to Tiger athletics in the 1960s as an alumni field officer, later moving on to become assistant athletics director for business and then executive director of IPTAY. His leadership led to a doubling of IPTAY contributions and an increase in membership. His third term, which began in 1993, again as executive director of IPTAY, Bennett created two additional components, an endowment program and the Tiger Cub program. Although he is retiring this month, Bennett's service to the Clemson community will remain memorialized in an endowment that has been created in his name. His extensive efforts were rewarded in 1984 when Bennett was named National Athletics Fund Raiser of the Year and again in 2001 with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award. He was inducted into Clemson's Athletics Hall of Fame and received the university's Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient
Jenilee Garner, University of Florida When Jenilee Garner graduated from the University of Florida in May with a major in business administration and a minor in criminology, she also walked away with a score of academic and athletics achievements and honors worthy of her 3.8 grade point average and stellar softball career. A Verizon All-American and two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association Academic All-American, Garner also landed on the Dean's List and Southeastern Conference Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll each year. Her academic achievements earned Garner membership to the University of Florida Criminology and Law Honor Society and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. While attending the University of Florida as a 100 percent Florida Bright Futures scholarship recipient, Garner augmented her academic and athletics responsibilities with extensive volunteer commitments to the Goodwill Gators Community Outreach program and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Through these organizations, Garner devoted time to the Children's Miracle Network, Sportsmanship Days and to promoting the Jump Rope for Heart program among local elementary students. Garner also shared her passion for softball as a volunteer coach for the Gainesville Gators youth softball team. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in sports administration.

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