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Leaders for Life program Wednesday features Dr. M. Dianne Murphy

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A former Tennessee Tech student-athlete who has gone on to become one of America's most respected collegiate athletics administrators, Dr. M. Dianne Murphy returns to her alma mater Wednesday evening as a featured speaker for a presentation on women in leadership.

It's a fitting subject for the Murphy, who as served since November 2004 as Columbia University’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. It's also a fitting forum: Wednesday's program is the latest in the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Endowed Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program.

Her presentation, which is free an open to the public, begins at 5 p.m. in the Don Ervin Auditorium on the first floor of Johnson Hall. The event is also part of the TTU College of Business Board of Trustees 2011 Distinguished Lecture Series.

During Murphy’s time as athletic director at Columbia, she has led many initiatives aimed at improving the experience of the university’s student-athletes.

She came to Columbia after serving for six years as director of athletics and recreation at the University of Denver. Under Murphy’s leadership there, eight Denver sports programs made NCAA tournament appearances, and Denver teams won national titles on four occasions.

At Columbia, she has undertaken a complete strategic planning process aimed at both short- and long-term excellence in athletics. The impact of this planning has resulted in numerous Ivy League successes and university records being broken

In 2006, Murphy announced the establishment of the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program at Tennessee Tech. The program provides mentoring and networking opportunities for female student-athletes at Tennessee Tech with successful female role models. The Leaders for Life Program features keynote addresses by women in the sports industry and women in leadership positions, as well as social networking opportunities.

The Leaders for Life program will feature a second event later in April.
       
"This program targets the common challenges facing women today," said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. "Tennessee Tech Athletics is excited about promoting the importance of women's athletics and providing outstanding opportunities for leadership development in its female student-athletes.
       
"We're extremely grateful to Dr. Murphy for her support of this program and her commitment to our student-athletes," he said.
       
Murphy is a two-time graduate of Tennessee Tech, earning bachelor's (1972) and master's (1973) degrees in health and physical education. While enrolled at Tech, Murphy was actively involved with the TTU athletics program, as a student-athlete in three sports (basketball, tennis and volleyball) and as a graduate assistant coach (women's basketball). In 2005, she earned the school's distinguished alumni award for her professional achievements.
       
The Leaders for Life program at Tennessee Tech is the second leadership lecture series created by Murphy through charitable gifts. In 2005, she endowed the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Distinguished Lecture Series in Sports Management at Florida State University. Murphy earned a Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1980.     

"The Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program is providing a permanent legacy to one of the University's most accomplished alumni," Wilson said. "Our female student-athletes benefit tremendously from the Leaders for Life Program.