On Thursday, April 6th, The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies held an event honoring Walter Harrison in the Wilde Auditorium titled, “A Conversation on Academics and Athletics”. The event was inspired by Harrison’s impact in the world of student athletes. Alongside Harrison on the panel was ESPN Reporter and Host Andy Katz and America East Conference Director Amy Huchthausen.
“This is a program we organized as a way to honor and as tribute to Walter Harrison before his retirement,” explained Avinoam Patt, the Associate Director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies and moderator for the event, “We thought it would be appropriate to do this program as a panel discussion to give Walt a chance to talk about his experiences, his role, his important work in the NCAA,
Walter Harrison’s dedication to student athletes and wanting the focus to be that they are students first made Harrison well liked and honored in the NCAA. And during Harrison’s time here at the University, it has experienced a period of energy and vitality unmatched in its history. He has even received the prestigious NCAA President Gerald R. Ford Award in 2015 for his work to improve the academic success of student-athletes.
Harrison’s chaired the NCAA’s Committee on Academic Performance from its creation in 2004 to 2014, as well as the NCAA’s Executive Committee from 2005 to 2007. And he became a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics in 2015, and his doctoral dissertation, “Out of Play: Baseball Fiction from Pulp to Art,” was one of the earliest scholarly treatments of baseball and its place in American life.
The night was filled with discussions such as dealings with Athletics and the business side of athletics and how this affects student athletes, international student, and about athletes from all over the world coming to play in the United States.