From 1985-2003, with the guidance of Ann Marie Rogers, the University of Florida built a reputation as one of the nation’s premier athletic programs for female athletes.
In her 18-year tenure as associate athletics director, Florida’s women’s athletic teams secured 60 SEC titles, seven national titles and 1,145 All-America honors.
And now, in lieu of a thank you card, Florida’s home pool will be named the Ann Marie Rogers Swimming and Diving Pool.
The name change was approved by UF’s Board of Trustees on Thursday after a million-dollar gift from Gators swimming alumna and four-time All-American Veronica Meinhard and her wife Kristina M. Johnson, the 13th Chancellor of the State University of New York.
“Ann Marie fought the early battles during the rollout of Title IX to give women opportunities that did not exist before,” Meinhard said in a release. “In the process, she opened the doors for people like me and Kristina because of the important work she did throughout her career.”
Rogers also served as a member of the NCAA Professional Sports Liaison Committee, NCAA Golf and Recruiting Committees, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators and SEC Executive Committee.
“It brought lots of tears of joy,” Rogers said in a release. “I’ve been retired for quite a long time and I never expected something like this.”
The pool will be renamed in the fall with a dedication ceremony recognizing Rogers, Meinhard and Johnson. Details will come at a later date.
“What a tremendous tribute to Ann Marie Rogers, one of the pioneers of women’s collegiate athletics,” UF Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said in a release. “Ann Marie certainly had an impact on countless student athletes, coaches and staff during her time and this gift by Veronica and Kristina speaks volumes on the extent of that impact. We are very thankful for the generous gift, but as Veronica has reminded us all, we are just as thankful for Ann Marie and her leadership accomplishments.”
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