KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 9, 2001 -- Lauren Anderson of Eastford, Conn., associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator at the University of Rhode Island since 1992, has been named "Woman of the Year" by the Association of Professional and Academic Women (APAW) at URI.
The association held a luncheon in Andersons honor on May 3. The award recognizes an individual who has gone beyond job requirements in working for equity for professional and academic women at URI.
A pioneer in athletics, Anderson was heralded by the New Haven Register in 1975 as one of the few women in the State of Connecticut to be named a high school athletic director, a traditionally male-dominated position. She was also the first woman to chair the NCAA Mens and Womens Track and Field Committee.
Anderson was a founding member of the New England Womens Intercollegiate Cross Country, Track and Field Association and served on the inaugural executive board of the Eastern Collegiate Womens Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association.
"She really is a superstar," says Judith Swift, professor of communications and theatre and member of the APAW steering committee. "Shes done so much for athletics. She helped URI achieve Title IX Equity and has worked hard to create an atmosphere where both men and women are valued without being accusatory. She brings a professional demure to the world of athletics."
Winkle Kelley, coordinator of advising programs for student-athletes agrees. "If theres one word to sum up Lauren Anderson, I would have to say its integrity. Shes passionate about both academics and athletics and feels strongly that academics should never be sacrificed for athletics. There are many people who will say this is important, but Lauren puts her support behind those words."
Anderson began her career at North Haven High School in 1967 where she served as the coach of the girls basketball, field hockey, and track and field teams. She initiated the girls track and field program and saw the team become state champions for four consecutive years.
In 1975, she was director of athletics at the school, responsible for the management of 22 sports at three levels of competition and the supervision of 36 staff members. The school has never forgotten Andersons influence on school athletics. In 1998, she was inducted into the schools Sports Hall of Fame.
Anderson joined URI in 1977 where she quickly initiated the womens cross country program and the womens indoor track and field program. From 1977 to 1992, she was responsible for the overall administration and operation of three NCAA Division I sports including post-season play in the Atlantic10 Conference, Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, New England, and NCAA Championships.
As associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator since 1992, Anderson has been responsible for the coordination and supervision of intercollegiate sports, the sports medicine staff, the academic advisors for student-athletes, and the athletics operations staff.
Anderson is a member of the board of directors and secretary of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.
She has served as the Atlantic 10 Conference chair for Mens and Womens Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Committee since 1993.
For Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116