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Leaders for Life

Leaders for Life

In 2006, Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education at Columbia University, established of the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program at Tennessee Tech.

The program is designed to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for female student-athletes at Tennessee Tech with successful female role models. The Leaders for Life Program features keynote addresses by women in the sports industry and women in leadership positions, as well as social networking opportunities.

“This program targets the common challenges facing women today – especially women of color,” Murphy said upon the establishment of the program. “I believe that it is vitally important that young women are given every opportunity to succeed in their chosen fields.”

Right from the start, the University and Deptartment of Athletics have embraced the opportunity to host the program.

“Tennessee Tech is excited about promoting the importance of women’s athletics and providing outstanding opportunities for leadership development in its female student-athletes,” said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. “We’re extremely grateful to Dr. Murphy for her support of this program and her commitment to our student-athletes.”

The $50,000 endowment for the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program was made possible by a gift of life insurance. Dr. Murphy, Tennessee Tech and the University’s athletics program are also subsidizing the Leaders for Life Program until the endowment is fully funded.

“I have always felt that giving back is important. Tennessee Tech provided me with tremendous opportunities, and I am proud to give back to my Alma Mater,” says Murphy.

Murphy is a two-time graduate of Tennessee Tech, earning bachelor’s (1972) and master’s (1973) degrees in health and physical education. While enrolled at Tennessee Tech, Murphy was actively involved with the TTU athletics program, as a student-athlete in three sports (basketball, tennis and volleyball) and as a graduate assistant coach (women’s basketball). In 2005, she earned the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her professional achievements.

Murphy has served as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Columbia University since November 2004. She was named to the faculty for the Masters Degree program in Sports Management at the Columbia University School of Continuing Education, for which she also serves as an advisor. Prior to her arrival at Columbia, Murphy was Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation at the University of Denver from 1998 to 2004.

Tennessee Tech's program is the second leadership lecture series created by Murphy through charitable gifts. In 2005, Murphy endowed the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Distinguished Lecture Series in Sports Management at Florida State University. Murphy earned a Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1980.

“The ‘Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program’ provides a permanent legacy to one of the University’s most accomplished alumni,” Wilson said.

“The goal of this program is to target common challenges facing women today and provide mentoring and networking opportunities with successful female role models in the greater Upper Cumberland,” Wilson said. “The program fosters ‘inclusive empowerment’ of Tech’s female student-athletes by helping them build skills needed to be successful in sports and leadership positions.”      

"Not only is the program designed to enhance the experiences of female student-athletes at Tech, it develops leadership skills and draws connections between leadership as a student-athlete and leadership in life," Wilson said.


Spring 2011 / Dr. M. Dianne Murphy / Preview Story

Spring 2011 / Dr. Lanise Rosemond / Review Story

Fall 2011 / Beth DeBauche / Review Story / Video

Spring 2012 / Natalie Ivey and Kristen Schabert / Preview Story / Review Story / Video

Fall 2012 / Pam Kilday / Preview Story / Review Story

Spring 2013 / Donna Lopiano / Preview Story / Review Story

Fall 2013 / Joetta Clark Diggs / Preview Story / Review Story / Video

Spring 2014 / Kathleen DoBoer / Preview Story / Review Story / Video

Fall 2014 / Joan Cronin

Spring 2015 / Donnita Hill / Preview Story / Review Story

Spring 2017 / Alice Camuti

Fall 2017 / Dr. M Dianne Murphy, Cary Groth, Shawn Monday Smith, Melinda Keifer, Rebecca Hargrove Smith

Spring 2019 / Becky Magura / Preview Story 

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