St. Louis, Mo. – The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) has announced Blackburn College President, Miriam "Mim" Pride, as the recipient of the 2013 Lee McKinney Distinguished Service Award.
After 24 years of service to Blackburn College, Pride will retire as President this summer. She came to Blackburn in the summer of 1989 at the request of then President, David Brown. Her first role on campus was as the Assistant to the President for Campus Life, a position well-fitted for her 16 years of experience gained at Berea College in student life and with the work college concept. Then within two years of her stepping foot on campus, Brown had resigned as President and the Blackburn Board of Trustees named Pride as Blackburn's first female President.
During Pride's tenure as President, she has served in many different capacities for the Conference. She was a part of the conversations and formation of the SLIAC. She has also served as Chair of the SLIAC President's Council a minimum of two times. In addition, Pride has represented not only Blackburn, but also the SLIAC, while serving on the NCAA President's Council and its nominating committee.
Throughout her 24 years at Blackburn, Pride has consistently demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the student-athlete experience and support of the NCAA DIII philosophy. She has held a strong belief that Blackburn student-athletes must be good campus community members and should be encouraged to engage in all aspects of their education.
Off campus, Pride has been a role model and encouraging in the development of female leadership. She most recently spoke at the SLIAC Women's Symposium in November 2012 and hosted a follow-up dinner at her home for the Blackburn women who attended the symposium.
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.