Faculty honors AD who raised specter of women's sports at MTSU

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 7:35pm
Staff Reports

Years of laboring by one woman to get greater scholarship opportunities for female athletes, updated equipment and uniforms, and access to funding to survive and strive has not gone unnoticed at Middle Tennessee State University.

On Tuesday, Diane Turnham, MTSU's associate athletic director, will receive the 2010 King-Hampton Award for her outstanding contributions to improving the status and equality of women on the Murfreesboro campus.

The award will be presented by the Association of Faculty and Administrative Women (AFAW) and the June Anderson Women's Center at a high tea at 3 p.m. on Feb. 16, in the Hazlewood Dining Room of the James Union Building.

Turnham first arrived at MTSU in 1982, taking on the head coaching chores for the women's volleyball team, as well as serving as assistant coach on the women's basketball team. At the time, the women's teams had no athletic trainers, sports information directors or bus drivers — roles taken on by Turnham and othes.

In addition to coaching, Turnham did yeoman's work as statistician, academic advisor, uniform launderer and chauffeur as well.

Since 1982, Turnham worked for greater scholarship opportunities for women athletes, acquisition of up-to-date uniforms and equipment, and access to funding support necessary to cover women's team transportation, lodging and meals. Due in no small measure to her efforts, the university hired additional coaches and support staff and increased operating budgets for women's sports.

The King-Hampton Award was established in 1990, and is named for Jeanette Moore King, a member of the first Middle Tennessee Normal School faculty, and Miss Martha Hampton, the first woman administrator at MTSU. It is an honor presented to an individual from the MTSU community who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the status and equality of women on the campus.

Cost for the Turnham reception is $7 for AFAW members; $9 for non-members. For more information, contact Christy Groves at (615) 898-2652 or cgroves@mtsu.edu.