June 28, 2012
Recent visitors to the Tom Oxley Athletic Center will have noticed an addition to the walls leading to the Florida Atlantic athletics offices and the Student-Athlete Center for Academic Excellence.
Display cases of team pictures throughout FAU history line both sides of the hallway, an effort to preserve the tradition of athletics and give both visitors and current student-athletes a glimpse into the Owls’ past.
“It was a directive of (former FAU athletic director) Craig Angelos,” said interim AD Melissa Dawson. “We were looking for a way to honor the history of our teams as well as the successes of our athletic department. We set out to include as many team photos as possible to show progression and honor the tradition of those that came before us.”
The combination of hiring a photographer in 2005, owlpix.com, and a consistent archiving system enabled the collection to be assembled. However, coming up with team pictures and identifying the individuals of earlier squads has proven to be more difficult.
“We’ve had to do some digging,” said Dawson. “I know Katrina (McCormack) and the Media Relations staff has visited the university’s library on multiple occasions to find the older ones.”
Providing assistance in gathering the pictures was current FAU assistant softball coach and former player Chan Walker.
“I came to FAU in 1995 as a member of the inaugural softball team,” said Walker. “Everyone on that team knew we were a part of building something special. I have been fortunate to see the department grow and to be a part of so many new things at the university. The photo wall is just one more example. It is great to see all the people who have made a difference at FAU and to see the current players stopping to see the photos knowing that they will be included forever as well.”
The effort has provided immediate results, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“I feel like we’ve done a terrific job, there’s almost 300 photos of FAU’s teams, but we’d love to reach out to anyone that played or coached at FAU to make sure that no one is left out,” said Dawson. “We truly would like to have as many teams represented and individuals identified as we possibly can. The more help we can get, the better the representation will be.”