Oct. 3, 2000
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - Eve Atkinson, Lafayette College's director of athletics since 1990, was inducted as president of the Eastern College Athletic Conference yesterday at the organization's fall convention in Hyannis, Mass.
Founded in 1938, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) is the nation's largest collegiate athletics conference with 309 member colleges and universities ranging from Maine to North Carolina in Divisions I, II and III. ECAC member institutions sponsor more than 2,500 varsity teams involving more than 125,000 male and female student athletes, and the ECAC will host 108 championships this year.
Atkinson is Lafayette's second director of athletics to be elected by fellow directors of athletics as president of the ECAC, following her predecessor Ole Kollevoll (Lafayette's director of athletics from 1965-89) who served in the same capacity in 1976-77.
"It is both an honor and a privilege to be inducted as ECAC president and serve the nation's largest athletic conference," said Atkinson. "My association with the ECAC has been over 20 years and what is most rewarding is the wonderful work the ECAC does in enhancing the experience of the collegiate student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. I am looking forward to leading and addressing the future challenges of this tremendous organization."
Atkinson, who received the 1996 ECAC Female Administrator of the Year Award and the 1997 ECAC Katherine Ley Award, became the first woman to hold the director of athletics post of a combined men's and women's program at the NCAA Division I level with a Division I-AA football program. During her tenure at Lafayette, Atkinson has restructured the athletic department administration and budgeting procedures, developed computer operations, and enhanced marketing, promotional, and development efforts for the department.
Atkinson was at the forefront of the recently dedicated Allan P. Kirby Sports Center, a project that saw a $24 million, 110,000-square foot intramural and recreational sports facility attached to the former Allan P. Kirby Field House, and $2.5 million in renovations and major face-lifts to the existing structure -- simply the best facility of its kind in the nation at a school the size of Lafayette.
From 1987 to 1991, she was a member of the executive committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and was a member of the ECAC Executive Council from 1989 to 1992. A former member of the NCAA Council, Atkinson chaired the NCAA Women's Swimming Committee from 1982 to 1987, and during each of those years she directed the operations of three NCAA national swimming and diving championships. She then served an additional three years as a member of the NCAA Men's and Women's Swimming Committee. She previously served on the Special NCAA Committee to Review Financial Considerations in Intercollegiate Athletics, the NCAA Division I Management Transition Team for Restructuring, and the NCAA Business and Finance Cabinet. She has also served as Chair of the Patriot League Directors of Athletics Committee.
Atkinson served a term as President of the Division I-AA Directors of Athletics Association of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The first female president of a collegiate football organization, she was honored in 1999 with an Award of Service for her term as president.