Oglethorpe Names New Athletics Director

Oglethorpe University has chosen Rebecca “Becky” Hall as director of athletics. Hall is currently the assistant athletics director and senior woman administrator at Wittenberg University and will become Oglethorpe’s fourth director of athletics since reassigning to NCAA Division III in 1990.

OU's newest Petrel - Rebecca Hall

Becky Hall will replace Jay Gardinerwho has served as director since 2004. Gardiner is now the inaugural commissioner of the new Southern Athletic Association, Oglethorpe’s athletic association beginning in the 2012-2013 season.

“After a national search that yielded exceptional candidates, the committee identified the best match for Oglethorpe,” said Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Michelle Hall. “Becky is truly a great fit, full of energy, ideas and experience that will guide our growing athletic program.”

A 1998 graduate of Urbana University where she was a star softball player, Hall was immediately hired by Wittenberg University as an assistant coach and rapidly made an impact on Tiger athletics. She was promoted to head softball coach in 1999 and, just one season later in 2000, led Wittenberg to their first North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. That season concluded with the Tigers making their first trip to the NCAA Championships and securing the school’s first NCAA Tournament softball victory.

While remaining as head softball coach, Hall took on progressive responsibilities. She served as Wittenberg’s director of intramurals and club sports from 2003-2007 before being promoted to assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator in July of 2007. In that span, Hall has continued to lead a successful softball program and overseen a 3.5 million dollar budget while also fundraising over $58,000 of supplemental income to the department.

In recent years, Oglethorpe has experienced a surge in growth, having added two new dormitories to the campus with plans to break ground on a state-of-the-art new campus center soon.

“Becky’s addition to our leadership team is a strategic move to continue to elevate our athletic programs, build a winning tradition and develop scholar-athletes who are successful on and off the playing fields,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall.

In addition to her fundraising success, Hall directly supervised all phases of 10 varsity sports teams while at Wittenberg. An advocate for several non-profit organizations, Hall engaged the Wittenberg student-athletes in a variety of community service efforts including events for Strike Out Cancer and Toys for Tots. Continue reading

Oglethorpe’s New “Short Courses” Are Long on Fun & Learning

OU shook things up this semester by adding a variety of short courses that focused on fun topics and experiences. Many students took advantage of the 13 one-time learning and recreational experiences, mostly taught by Oglethorpe staff.

This semester’s short courses have explored interesting topics like “How to Survive in the Woods…in a Hammock” with  Jon Nooner, technical director for the Conant Performing  Arts Center, and “Extreme Couponing” with Bre Berris, director of Greek affairs.  Students indulged their sweet tooth with Kim-Marie John, Emerson Cafe’s baker, in a short course that introduced the art of decorating your own cupcake. Residence Life Coordinator Alyssa De Gazon led a short course discussion about the The Hunger Games book series. Students also toured Elm Street Gardens, a two-acre community organic garden, founded by alumnus Robert Currey, which provides food for hundreds of families in Hancock County, the poorest county in Georgia.  Students also gathered to learn “Sign Language: 50 words you need to know”, a short course taught by Jay Gardiner, OU’s athletics director (pictured above). Gardiner shared his knowledge in a fun and interactive environment that left the students asking for more.

The short courses were so popular that there are already plans for them to return in the fall semester.  The Office of Campus Life invites students to submit ideas for short courses. If there is a skill you would like to learn—or teach—send your suggestions to Kendra Hunter at khunter@oglethorpe.edu and the Office of Campus Life will do their best to make it happen!

OU students toured a two-acre organic community garden founded by OU alumnus Robert Currey.