Honoring our rich sports history

Even though Emory's intercollegiate athletics program is somewhat of a late bloomer, the University has a rich sports history. In 1989, the Emory Sports Hall of Fame was founded to honor those individuals who have excelled in the school's athletic programs. "The concept was to cover Emory athletics from 1895 up to the present time by electing outstanding athletes, coaches, or contributors to athletics," says Virlyn B. Moore Jr., a 1931 Emory College graduate who was instrumental in organizing the Hall of Fame. While at Emory, he lettered in baseball, football, basketball, and track, and he was a member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic baseball team.

"The thing that interests me is that the history of Emory athletics is really exciting," says Moore, who is a member of both the Emory Sports Hall of Fame and the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. "For example, Emory really started basketball in the South; very few people know that," he explains. "We started our basketball program in about 1897, and that was the first basketball ever played in the South. The University of Georgia didn't start until 1908 or 1910, and so we were really pioneers in that respect."

To date, seventy-nine people have been inducted into the Emory Sports Hall of Fame. To be considered, candidates must be nominated, and their nominations are forwarded to the group's eighteen-member selection committee for approval. "We have a meeting, and we sit down and go over the qualifications," explains Moore, who is the Hall of Fame's chairman emeritus. Looking back on those who have been inducted, he says several people stand out, including the late Manley Lanier "Sonny" Carter '69C-'73M, who played soccer in college and professionally and went on to be a space shuttle astronaut; swimmer Julie Ginden '85C-'88L, who won four events at the 1985 NCAA Division III national championships; and Emory College language professor Frank Clyde Brown who, in the late 1890s, was responsible for designing the nation's first intramural athletics program.

To read about recent inductees into Emory's Sports Hall of Fame, click here.

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