Special Message from President Oxholm on National Search for AD

By Purnell T. Cropper | January 31, 2012

A special message from Arcadia University President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III announcing national search and the upcoming retirement of Athletic Director ShirleyLiddle, posted on Jan. 18.

To the Arcadia Community—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends:

I write with the bittersweet news that Shirley Liddle, our Director of Athletics, has decided to retire effective this coming August. It is sweet for her, to be sure, as she has earned a happy retirement after nineteen and one-half years of service to Arcadia, and it comes at a time when athletics at Beaver/Arcadia have seldom been in better shape or have greater promise – just the perfect way to leave us! – but she is a dear friend to so many of us, and her loss will be keenly felt.

Shirley was hired in January of 1993, as the second of two full time employees in Athletics and Recreation. Beaver College was about to open the Kuch Center, and it was our first year in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference, with our application to the NCAA still pending. We were admitted to the NCAA the next year, and her tenure included 5 years as President of the PAC – a conference that we came to dominate – becoming nationally ranked in Men’s Soccer, Baseball, and Basketball, and Women’s Softball during our 15 years in that league. She was on the NCAA Financial Aid Committee for 8 years and was the first Chair of Division 3 Financial Aid for 3 years.

Shirley helped plan the design of Blankley Field and the tennis courts, pushed for the creation of the Athletic Hall of Fame, and has never ceased being an advocate for a baseball field and a (she would say “at least one”) turf field – both of which causes she has kept on our university’s front burner. In 2007, she achieved her 14-year objective goal of having Acadia be admitted to the Middle Atlantic Conference – providing a great role model to all of calm and pleasant but relentless persistence – which was a truly significant move not just for the Arcadia athletic program, but for the entire University in term of our new affiliations. The Athletic Department now includes 16 full-time employees, including a new Strength & Conditioning Coach and a Director of Intramurals and Recreation; we have added 4 new teams (yes, she does have plans for more!); and with the recently completed renovation to Kuch, we have improved our facilities many times over. And according to Shirley, “I have the best group of coach/recruiters that we have ever had as a group since I have been here.”

When the spring season ends, she will have seen about 5000 contests and watched about 4700 Beaver/Arcadia athletes compete – and I am hoping that she will help us reconnect with those alumni as we continue to build our intercollegiate and intramural programs under the next Director.

There will be time to celebrate Shirley’s career later this semester, but in the meantime, I will be appointing a search committee and conducting a national search. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for the Search Committee, please send the name and the rationale to my Special Assistant, Eva Korolishin.

We are intent on the next level of excellence of our intercollegiate and intramural programs at AU, and thanks to Shirley, we are well prepared to achieve it. Please join me in congratulating Shirley on a wonderful career and the prospects of an equally wonderful retirement.