St. Louis, Mo. – The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) has announced Lora McMullin of Principia College and women's basketball official Tom Sullivan as the recipients of the 2012 Lee McKinney Distinguished Service Award.
McMullin has been at Principia College for 25 years, 19 of which she has served as the administrative assistant in the athletics department and has worked under three different athletics directors. She is known for her organization, dependability, dedication and sheer knowledge within the department. Her responsibilities are endless and in addition to being the contact person for anyone interacting with Principia Athletics, she has sole responsibility for budgetary issues, eligibility and compliance documentation.
McMullin has also been an integral part of coordinating all SLIAC events that take place on Principia's campus. From arranging space, meals, necessary personnel and serving as the point person for those attending Conference events, she has been key to the successful execution of meetings and tournaments, especially as the Conference expands geographically.
In her work with faculty, administration and student-athletes, McMullin is a shining example of NCAA Division III excellence. She is committed to the success of the student-athletes and has become a role model for all who pass through Principia's athletics department.
Sullivan has served as a SLIAC women's basketball official for more than 15 years and has consistently been ranked among the top 10 officials in the Conference. He is known for his communication skills on the court. Sullivan will gladly answer any question posed by coaches and does so in the most professional manner. He also displays a positive, upbeat, approach to his officiating no matter the game and espouses the comment that "a good official can always make a bad game better."
In order to continue to working as a women's basketball official, Sullivan has had to overcome two challenges. First he has had to manage a demanding schedule as the CEO at Mathews Dickey Boys and Girls Club, an organization that provides leadership and mentoring to thousands of inner city children on a yearly basis. Second he has had to overcome health issues and heart surgery, both of which he has taken head on and returned to the court in better shape, healthier and wiser.
On top of his full-time job, officiating and spending time with this wife and children, Sullivan also donates his time to helping at his church and in the community.
About the Award - The Lee McKinney SLIAC Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to the individual that has served or competed in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, dedication, service and perseverance displayed by longtime Fontbonne University director of athletics, Lee McKinney.
Dr. McKinney served as director of athletics at Fontbonne for 23 years, seeing the athletics program at the institution grow from three teams and 19 student-athletes when he arrived in 1988 to 19 teams and over 350 student-athletes at the time of his retirement. Dr. McKinney was instrumental in the formation of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as he joined representatives from Blackburn College, Maryville University, Parks College, Principia College and Webster University in chartering the Conference in September 1989.
During his years of service to the Conference, Dr. McKinney chaired the SLIAC Administrative Council and represented the Conference nationally, serving on the NCAA Management Council, Financial Aid Committee and Nominating Committee.
Dr. McKinney, who was a two-time cancer survivor, passed away on April 4, 2011. He had dedicated countless hours of service to local community organizations and raising money for various charities, mainly the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coaches vs. Cancer.