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Notre Dame awards Cordes an honorary monogram

NOTRE DAME, Indiana – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the University of Notre Dame announced athletic honorary monograms will be awarded to women who started the women's sports program during the period from 1972-1977. Fallbrook resident Kathleen Cordes will be awarded an honorary monogram as the first female varsity coach. Others, including students and coaches who helped lead the way to varsity status on earlier club teams will also be recognized as will all the first varsity players on the winning tennis team coached by Cordes.

Cordes served locally as chair of physical education at Miramar College and district director of the San Diego Community College Honors Program. A professor emeritus, Cordes has also served as a college/university professor, chair, coach and director at other colleges/universities and as a visiting professor at the University of Zulia and the University of the Andes in Venezuela.

Besides being Notre Dame's first female varsity coach, Cordes was also one of the country's first female directors of men and women's athletics at Spalding University in Louisville and the first athletic director at Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame, Indiana.

For her teaching, leadership, and administrative efforts, she was honored by the California Legislative Assembly with their Recognition Award for her dedication to the promotion of innovative teaching and learning in physical education across the country. Cordes is also the recipient of national, district, and state American Alliance of Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance Honor Awards.

For her authorship of college textbooks and other works, her presentations at state, national, and international events, and leadership in recreation, she received national and state awards for Distinguished Service to Recreation and was elected American Leisure Academy Senior Fellow and inducted into the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance Professionals.

Among her duties as interim executive director for the American Association of Leisure/Recreation in Reston, Virginia, she represented AAHPERD on the White House/Department of Transportation Green Ribbon Panel and authored America's Millennium Trails Pathways for the 21st Century, an official project of the White House Millennium Council. She has been a pioneer in women's athletic administration and coaching, earning multiple honors and awards. These include Lifetime Achievement from the President's Council for Physical Fitness and induction into SHAPE America's Hall of Fame.

Cordes, an early female to win a letter in tennis at Indiana University was awarded their School of Public Health Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumnae Award for outstanding achievements and significant contributions to girls and women.

In athletics, Cordes received their Leanne Grotke award. This highest honor of its kind given by the university is made to those who have made exceptional contributions to the university and its women's athletics program. Cordes is currently serving on the San Diego YMCA Camp Board and as a past board member of the Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Board in Murietta where she is currently serving on their Nature Education Committee.

Cordes said it was always her hope that her team would all be given Monograms for their athletic ability, spirit and dedication. They will all be invited back to the University of Notre Dame and recognized on the field at halftime during a football game with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this October.

The Monogram at ND is an interlocking N and D to only be worn only by those selected for Monogram. The history of the Monogram was referenced in 1899 in the constitution of the Athletic Association as their official athletic insignia although there are references to even early Monogram winners. The Monogram Club has presented the Honorary Monogram to recognize, for instance, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.

Honorary Monograms have also been received by a number of Irish coaches and administrators who have made impressionable marks on the athletic program as well, explained Cordes. "As such, these Honorary Monograms that are being bestowed to the women who are responsible for leading the way to the development of a strong sport program for women at ND today is a mighty big thank you to each individual.

"At Notre Dame, I would be inclined to say the Monogram serves as a reminder of each individual's dedication, hard work, and fond memories. At least that is what the Honorary Monogram will mean to me!" she added.


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