Baird Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
DANVILLE, KY - Kitty Baird, a Centre College teacher and coach for 40 years, is one of six women in the nation to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award this year from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. She will receive the award this weekend (Sunday, Oct. 22) in ceremonies held in Denver at the NACWAA Fall Forum.
One other Kentuckian is among this year's recipients, Cornieth York "C.Y." Russell of Kentucky State University. The other recipients are Ruth Vivian Acosta, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; Phyllis L. Howlett, Big Ten Conference; Virginia Hunt, Montana State University; and Karol Anne Kahrs, University of Illinois.
The achievement awards are presented annually to athletics administrators who have dedicated their professional careers to advancing sports opportunities for women and girls.
Baird joined the Centre athletic staff in 1959 and became the central figure in founding a comprehensive varsity sports program for women at the college. On a broader scale, she was instrumental in founding the Kentucky Women Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KWIC) and assisted other Kentucky colleges and universities in establishing varsity athletics.
By the time Baird retired from Centre early this year, the college had 10 varsity sports teams for women.
Baird has been active in intercollegiate athletics on the national level as well. She served on the NACWAA Membership Committee, the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee, and NCAA Division III Restructure Task Force, among others.
A graduate of Radford College in Virginia, Baird earned a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an education specialist degree from Eastern Kentucky University. As part of her EKU degree requirements, she compiled a manuscript about the history of women's sports at Centre, which she is now rewriting for publication as a book.
Baird's roles at Centre have included physical education instructor, intramural director, fitness consultant and wellness instructor. She was president of the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and has received that organization's Distinguished Service Award, as well as the W. Walter H. Mustaine Award. She also has been honored with the Kentucky Pathfinder Award and an alumni award from UNC-Greensboro.
An active community leader, Baird has been vice chair of the board of directors for the Central Kentucky Chapter of American Red Cross, and she was a 4-H Club leader for 15 years. She has given numerous speeches on health and physical fitness and has published related articles in the Journal of the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
Baird's appointments at Centre culminated with dual roles as associate director of athletics and professor of physical education.
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Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger