CENTRE ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR FOR 2003
JAMES O. “JIM” BUCK
When James O. “Jim” Buck was quarterback of the Centre College football team, the Colonels often lined up opposite squads from schools several times the size of Centre. Greater size often meant better funding of the athletic programs of these opponents. As a result, the young men on those teams had the benefit of more coaches and much better equipment – even though such advantages were no guarantee of victory. Playing with heart, intelligence, and determination has often given Centre teams, both men and women, the greater competitive edge. Nonetheless, the experience of repeatedly having to make do with less might have caused resentment in some, but not so with Jim Buck. Believing that it is not enough to curse the darkness, Jim prefers to light a candle whenever possible. And over the past decade, in particular, he has lit candles time and again for the students of Centre College.
Because his generosity has made possible the equipment in these rooms, both the fitness center and the weight-lifting room – known as The Buck Power Centre – in Sutcliffe Hall bear his name. In addition, our well-equipped athletic training room was given by Jim as a memorial to his wife, Ivyl Lile Buck. And there is much more that Jim has made possible at Centre that has never been publicly acknowledged. Suffice it to say that among their many friends, the students of Centre College have no better friend than Jim Buck.
Jim is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. Returning after each tour of duty to his native Jacksonville, Florida, Jim has had a distinguished career in the real estate business in that city. A natural leader as a student athlete at Centre and as an officer in the U.S. Army, Jim became a leader in his profession and is a former president of the Florida Association of Realtors. Jim is a pillar of the Arlington United Methodist Church, where he is a long-time Sunday School teacher. He is also an avid golfer and fisherman.
Whenever Centre has called, Jim has always said “yes.” He has helped organize and host numerous alumni events for his alma mater and is a former member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is a member of the Centre College Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Alumni Association named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 1998.
In grateful recognition of his outstanding service to his alma mater, his exemplary life and career, and his commitment to the students of Centre College and their fitness, recreation, and athletic needs, we are pleased to recognize James O. “Jim” Buck as the Centre Associate of the Year for 2003.