By Jennifer Toland, Telegram & Gazette Staff
When former Clark director of athletics Linda
Moulton receives the National Association of
Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators Lifetime Achievement Award
during the NACWAA National Convention Monday in San Diego, she will
have four minutes to deliver her acceptance speech.
That hardly seems like enough time to reflect on her decades of dedication to college athletics, including the 24 years she spent at Clark.
"It's made me think about what is the message I want to send in addition to acknowledging so many people," said Moulton, who retired from Clark in February 2011. "I have been fortunate to have been affiliated with some of the finest colleges and universities in the country and worked with wonderful athletes, coaches and administrators. I'm so honored by this wonderful award and I'm really humbled by it."
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to administrators who have dedicated their careers to advancing women in sport, rendered meritorious service and retired from or are no longer directly involved in the profession. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by past Lifetime Achievement Award winners.
Moulton is one of five women who will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award this year.
Moulton was on the NACWAA board when the award was established in 1998. There have been about 70 recipients since and Moulton is the ninth from Division 3 to be honored.
"That makes it special, too," Moulton said.
Moulton replaced Wally Halas as Clark's AD in 1987. She was previously director of athletics at Wellesley College, associate director of athletics at Smith and athletic administrative consultant at William & Mary. Moulton was Worcester's second female college AD, after Assumption's Rita Castagna.
"I remember Wally called me and said, 'You should look at the job,'" said Moulton, who was working at William & Mary at the time. "Clark's hiring of me at the time, when there were really far fewer women leading athletic programs in the country, was really, I think, a tremendous tribute to Clark for being willing to give a woman an opportunity. I've always felt very fortunate for that and for Wally's encouragement. Those things led me down the path that I'm not sure would have happened otherwise."
During her tenure in college athletic administration, Moulton was lauded as a highly respected leader in Division 3 while serving on numerous NCAA committees.
At Clark, her achievements included the increase in full-time head coaches and the establishment of Friends of Clark Athletics and the Clark University Athletic Hall of Fame. She was instrumental in the Granger Field Complex project. Under Moulton, eight teams represented Clark at NCAA Division 3 tournaments and championships.
Among the other honors Moulton received during her career were the Jostens District Administrator of the Year Award for outstanding contributions to the NACWAA and the Jeanne Rowlands Merit Award for outstanding service by the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (MAIAW).
"Linda has had an extraordinary impact on women's athletics," longtime Clark women's basketball coach Pat Glispin said. "For me personally, Linda has meant so much to my career, not only as a coach but as a leader of young women."
Moulton has remained in the Worcester area since retiring from Clark, has kept busy and has continued to follow Cougars athletics.
"I knew when I retired I'd be someone who couldn't sit still," she said.
A number of family members will be on hand to see Moulton receive the award next week.
"It's such a wonderful award knowing the history of it and what it means to the association," Moulton said, "and it's made me reflect on all of my years in athletic administration. It's also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with all the people who have been an important part of my life, my family and friends, and bring people together."