SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 5, 2007 – A constellation of Springfield College alumni comprised of Olympic medalists and former USA Team members will converge on the campus on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 9: 15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., to discuss how a balanced approach to spirit, mind and body has influenced their excellence in sport and in life.
Tony DiCicco, head coach of the 1996 Olympic gold medal USA Women’s Olympic Soccer Team; Jeff Blatnick, 1984 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling; Donna de Varona, 1964 Olympic double gold medalist in swimming; and Lucinda Williams Adams, 1960 Olympic gold medalist in track, will participate.
Also speaking will be Pam Hixon, coach of the 1996 USA Olympic Field Hockey Team; Jennifer Hixon, member of the 1988 USA Field Hockey Team; Annie Franzia, former member of the USA Synchronized Swimming Team; and Jennifer Mead, member of the USA Women’s Soccer Team from 1993 to 1998
Organizer of the event is Mimi Murray, Springfield College professor of physical education and 2007-2008 distinguished Springfield professor of humanics, who said, “These phenomenal athletes also have achieved outstanding success in their subsequent professional pursuits. They all maintain that their spirit-mind-body connection has been a critical factor throughout their lives.”
DiCicco is an ESPN commentator on U. S. women’s soccer matches, and coach of the Boston Breakers in the re-launched WUSA. Blatnick is a motivational speaker and volunteer high school wrestling coach. Pam Hixon is president of the U. S. Field Hockey Association and the director of youth field hockey camps. Jennifer Hixon is chair of the Springfield College Physician Assistant Department, and Franzia is a sport psychology consultant.
Adams and de Varona received honorary doctor of humanics degrees from the college in 1998 and 2001, respectively. De Varona is a national television sports commentator and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Anti Doping Commission, and was the founder and first president of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Adams is a member of the board of directors of the National Senior Games, and is a retired educator from the Dayton, Ohio school system.
Murray is serving a one-year term as distinguished Springfield professor of humanics. Annually, Springfield College appoints a member of its faculty or staff to the honor to explore aspects of the humanics philosophy relative to their professional field. The philosophy emphasizes education in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to humanity.
Murray is examining the college’s history, including its influence on the Olympic movement. Since Springfield College’s founding in 1885, more than 130 of its students, alumni, and members of the faculty and staff, have participated in the Olympics as athletes, coaches, trainers, sports psychologists and staff, and in other roles. This Wednesday’s program is the first of several events in her year as distinguished professor of humanics.