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The Value Of Leading Campus Recreation With MIT’s Anthony Grant, Pomona-Pitzer’s Miriam Merrill & WashU’s Anthony Azama

Guest Anthony Grant, MIT; Miriam Merrill, Pomona-Pitzer; Anthony Azama, WashU
29:54 min watch


MIT Director of Athletics/DAPER Department Head Dr. G. Anthony Grant, Pomona-Pitzer Director of Athletics/Chair of Physical Education Dr. Miriam Merrill and Washington University in St. Louis John M. Schael Director of Athletics/Associate Vice Chancellor Anthony Azama join ADU’s Tai M. Brown at the 2023 NACDA Convention to discuss the value of leading both an athletics and campus recreation department. Azama, who describes Campus Recreation as the “zipcode” where various constituencies convene, emphasizes the holistic experience created through Recreation departments while Merrill and Grant explain the benefits and challenges of serving non-student communities via athletics facilities. The trio also discuss the intricacies of fundraising for both Athletics and Campus Rec and share insight from their experience in NCAA Leadership Development programs.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Anthony, why do you feel that having oversight of campus recreation is an asset to an AD?
  • - Miriam, do you have a philosophy on this at your institution?
  • - What about at MIT?
  • - Let's talk about how the campus community and wider community utilizes your facilities and how that ties into money and resources and being something bigger than just Athletics on campus.
  • - Are there opportunities for student-athletes to work on campus in those recreation facilities? Is there even time in their day for that? 
  • - Miriam, you've said before that at the Division III level, the "customer" for your department is really the student-athletes. Can you expand upon that concept?
  • - Anthony, any thoughts on who you consider the "customer" on campus?
  • - Anthony, at what point do you consider other constituents, aside from student-athletes, as your "customer" at MIT?
  • - What's the biggest challenge to overseeing both Athletics and Campus Recreation at your institutions?
  • - Is there a capacity element with regard to non-student membership at your facilities?
  • - What are the challenges for Pomona-Pitzer in terms of non-student membership?
  • - How does it benefit you when more students use the recreational facilities?
  • - Tell us about the fundraising aspect of your job when both Athletics and Campus Recreation are under the same umbrella?
  • - What about at MIT?
  • - Does the institution help with fundraising or is it all on your department?
  • - What are a few things you learned from participating in a NCAA Leadership Development program that helped you get to where you are today?