2013

Auburn’s Defense Seals Upset of Texas A&M to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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The Auburn defense gave up 502 yards to Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel but he was finally stopped in his tracks, thanks to Tigers’ defensive end Dee Ford.

Ford ensured his team’s, 45-41, upset victory over No. 7 Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) by dropping the Aggie’s elusive Heisman Trophy quarterback twice in three plays at the end of the game. His sacks drove the Aggies back 30 yards. His last one ended the game when he drug down Manziel on fourth down from the Auburn 21 yard line with 11 seconds left to play.

The thrilling end to the high-scoring Southeastern Conference game earned No. 24 Auburn (6-1, 3-1) selection as the Week 8 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

Auburn, which entered the game leading the SEC with 287 yards rushing a game, piled on plenty of offense, too. It gained 379 yards rushing against the Aggies with Tigers’ running back Tre Mason leading the way with 178 yards on 27 carries. Mason had a 53-yard run to set up his go-ahead TD with 1:19 remaining when he stretched over the goal line on a 5-yard run.

Auburn’s quarterback Nick Marshall threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 100 yards and two more scores for the Tigers.

It was a sweet victory for Auburn which last year didn’t win a single SEC game and was battered by
Texas A&M, 63-21.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun Receives Academy’s 2013 Eagle Award

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United States Olympic Committee (USOC) chief executive officer Scott Blackmun earned the United States Sports Academy’s 2013 Eagle Award for helping forge one of the most significant agreements in the Olympic Movement.

Blackmun negotiated a landmark revenue-sharing agreement in 2012 with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over American television fees and worldwide sponsorship revenues that secures funding for both organizations, future Olympic Games and athletes. In addition, among other things the USOC committed $15 million to administrative costs of staging the Olympics through 2020 and $20 million thereafter.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun (left) receives the Academy's Eagle Award, its highest honor, from Dr. Gary Cunningham, an Academy Board of Trustees member, at a ceremony Oct. 21 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Steering the revenue-sharing agreement and providing honorable and visionary leadership since being named CEO in January 2010, led Blackmun to being named the Academy’s Eagle Award winner. It is the highest international honor given by the sports university and annually goes to a world leader in sport to recognize that individual’s contributions in promoting international harmony, peace, and goodwill through the effective use of sport.

Despite his recent successes that also include adding a host of new sponsors and fielding a U.S. Olympic team that won the Gold Medal count and overall medal count at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 55-year-old Blackmun remains driven.

“I am incredibly honored to accept this award on behalf of our entire team at the United States Olympic Committee,” Blackmun said. “While we are all pleased with our recent success, and more importantly the success of our athletes on the field of play, we are far from satisfied. There is always more work to be done to ensure that we are providing America’s finest athletes with the resources they need to be successful.”

Among his priorities to move U.S. Olympic efforts forward are: ensuring the continued success by eam USA at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, putting together a successful bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and more than tripling its current level of fundraising to about $50 million a year. The USOC is the only National Olympic Committee in the world that does not enjoy federal government support.

Blackmun is an ex-officio member of the USOC’s board of directors. He also serves on the IOC’s Marketing Commission that he was appointed to in March 2011.

Blackmun had a previous stint at the USOC before taking over, having served as acting CEO (2001), senior managing director of sport (2000) and general counsel (1999).

Following his departure in 2001, Blackmun became the chief operating officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group, one of the world’s most respected presenters of sports and entertainment events. While based in Los Angeles, he served on the board of directors of the California Chamber of Commerce.

Blackmun has spent more than 20 years practicing law in Colorado and was a partner in two large international firms during his career. His practice focused on sports and entertainment, with an emphasis on project finance for sports and entertainment venues.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Utah’s Big Upset of Stanford Earns the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Utah quarterback Travis Wilson orchestrated the biggest upset at home in school history and the most significant victory the Utes have had since moving to the Pac-12 three years ago.

The Utes shocked unbeaten and No. 5-ranked Stanford by making a goal-line stand in the final minute of the game and by Wilson throwing two TD passes in the 27-21 victory. Utah’s first signature Pac-12 win earned it selection as the Week 7 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

It was the first time in school history the Utes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) have knocked off a top-five program at Rice-Eccles Stadium. However, it did beat No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl following the 2008 season.

Quarterback Kevin Hogan marched Stanford down to the Utah 6-yard line with a minute remaining. On third down, he threw an incomplete pass and, then, on fourth down, amid heavy pressure, Hogan overthrew his wide receiver. The loss ended the 13-game winning streak of Stanford (5-1, 3-1).

A week after throwing six interceptions, Wilson helped keep Stanford’s defense off balance with a mix of draws and wide receiver screens. Wilson finished 23 of 34 for 234 yards with touchdown passes of 51 and 4 yards. Despite cutting his throwing hand on a hard tackle early in the third quarter, Wilson continued playing well.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich Earns Sportsman of the Year Award from Gabarrón International Awards

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Academy Founder, President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich

DAPHNE, Ala.— United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich became the first American to earn the Sportsman of the Year award from The Gabarrón International Awards, which are being presented Nov. 8 in New York City.

Dr. Rosandich, who was born and raised in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., was chosen for the honor for his “nearly 60 years of continuous dedication and contributions to the creation of several generations of athletes, educators and sports managers in the five continents.” The prestigious award was first won by the late International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

For nearly 60 years, Dr. Rosandich, who founded the United States Sports Academy, has been a major figure in sport around the world as a coach and as an educator. As a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, he served as the track and field coach for the U.S. armed services. He later was the national track and field coach for various Southeast Asia and Middle East nations for Olympiads from the 1956 Games in Melbourne to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He even served as U.S. Team Handball president at the 1996 Centennial Atlanta Olympic Games.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rosandich has built and established many sports programs, events and facilities. He founded and directed the Marine Corps Relays in Quantico, Va. In the early 1960s, Dr. Rosandich was directly responsible for bringing the Peace Corps—which he turned into the Sport Corps—to Indonesia. During the same era, he played a central role in the founding of the South East Asia (SEA) Games.

In 1966, he founded Olympia Sport Village in northern Wisconsin, which was used for winter sports training by Olympic athletes from all over the world. Dr. Rosandich also established the Paavo Nurmi Marathon in 1971, which is still run to this day.

After serving as the Director of Athletics for University of Wisconsin–Parkside and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for nearly 10 years, he founded the United States Sports Academy, “America’s Sports University.” Begun to upgrade the profession of sport, the Academy has remained the only free-standing school of sport in America since its inception in 1972.

Today, it is the largest graduate school of sport education in the world. It offers regionally accredited sport degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

In 1984 as part of the Academy, Dr. Rosandich founded the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), located on the Academy campus. Today, it is arguably the largest collection of sport art in the world with more than 1,700 pieces. Also in 1984, he established the Academy’s Awards of Sport, which annually honors people who have made significant contributions to sport in various fields.

Dr. Rosandich holds some 40 decorations of merit from a wide-range of groups. Among them are the highest distinctions awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The IOC presented the Olympic Order to Dr. Rosandich in 1997 and the USOC presented its President’s Medal to him in 2000. He has served on the IOC Culture and Olympic Education Commission since 1999.

In 2008, Dr. Rosandich received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from NECO (formerly the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations). The nonprofit annually honors U.S. citizens of various ethnic backgrounds in homage to the immigrant experience. Others who have received the Ellis Island medal include six U.S. presidents, Nobel laureates, business leaders, and sports figures such as Muhammad Ali and Arnold Palmer.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Congratulations to Our Newest Graduates!

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With rolling enrollment, the Academy’s students start their courses as soon as they are accepted without having to wait for the next semester to begin. The Academy is proud to announce its graduates for September 2013.
Bachelor’s Students
Charles D. Freitag (Eagle Lake, Minn.) – B.S.S. Sports Management
Jivaro J. Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.) – B.S.S. Sports Management

Master’s Students
Dale W. Anderson (Lyman, Wyo.) – M.S.S. Sports Fitness and Health
Eleanor M. Gbesemete (Clearwater, Fla.) – M.S.S. Sports Fitness and Health
Phillip T. Mannos (Arlington, Va.) – M.S.S. Sports Studies
John J. Platero (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) – M.S.S. Sports Medicine MSS Sports Fitness and Health Personal Training Emphasis
Brandon M. Pritchett (McCook, Neb.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Andrew J. Sellars (Pensacola, Fla.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching

Doctoral Graduates
Kenneth M. Cofer (Adel, Ga.) – Ed. D, Sports Management Human Resources Management

Learn more about Academy programs at USSA.edu.

Chinese Speakers Can Now Take Academy's Online Course on Shaolin Philosophy

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Now Chinese speakers around the world can take the United States Sports Academy’s online course on Shaolin Kung Fu philosophy and history.

The Academy recently began offering the continuing education course, “Philosophy of Shaolin Kung Fu” (CEB 205), in Chinese in its Canvas learning management system.

United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees member Dr. Gary Cunningham (left) presents Shaolin Temple Abbot Shi Yongxin with a original book of the “Philosophy of Shaolin Kung Fu,” online course translated in both Chinese and English on Oct. 13 in Los Angeles.

The newly translated course was presented to Shaolin Temple Abbot Shi Yongxin by Dr. Gary Cunningham, an Academy Board of Trustees member and the U.S. Federation of Sport Universities president, in a hand-made, leather-bound manuscript. His Holiness met with Cunningham Sunday, Oct. 13 during the Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival held Oct. 8-15 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The Abbot, who leads 400 million Chan Buddhists, had asked Academy officials to develop an online version in Chinese that he could require his disciples to take. The Chinese course was translated by Mr. Yu-Hsin Li, a teaching assistant in the doctoral program at the Academy. An English version has been offered to students since June 2011.

Ever since Shaolin Abbot Shi Yongxin presented Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich with a 1,500-year-old manuscript, “Secrets of the Shaolin Temple: Martial Arts and Medicine Scrolls,” in November 2006, the organizations have worked together to develop an online course based on its contents. His Holiness was visiting “America’s Sports University” to receive an Honorary Doctorate.

The world-renowned Shaolin Temple has refined its practices to achieve unparalleled health and wellness over the centuries and because of this, it is recognized for having some of the most respected athletes in the world. The Academy has teamed with the Shaolin Temple to create a course that shares this ancient philosophy’s secrets to balancing the body, the mind and the spirit.

After completing this course, students will know Shaolin’s basic tenents and be able to apply them to the playing field, the boardroom or their personal life.

The course costs $200 and offers students a Certificate of Completion signed by His Holiness and Dr. Rosandich. To learn more or to enroll in “Philosophy of Shaolin Kung-Fu” (CEB 205), please call the Academy at 251-626-3303, email admissons@ussa.edu. Please, click here to learn more about this course and to enroll.

Shaolin Abbot Receives Academy Book with Chinese Version of Shaolin Course

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United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees member Dr. Gary Cunningham met with Shaolin Temple Abbot Shi Yongxin to present on behalf of the Academy a leather-bound version of the sport university’s course, “Philosophy of Shaolin Kung Fu (CEB 205),” in both Chinese and English. The presentation was made at the Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival in Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 13. Please, click here to learn more about this course and enroll.

Stanford Edges Washington to Remain Unbeaten and to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Despite being outgained by 205 yards on offense, Stanford never trailed Washington during the Pacific-12 Conference matchup of unbeaten teams.

The fifth-ranked Stanford held on to edge No. 15 Washington, 31-28, for its 13th victory in a row and earned selection as the Week 6 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

Ty Montgomery sprinted up the middle untouched to open the game with a 99-yard kickoff return for a Stanford touchdown. Montgomery also had a 39-yard TD reception with 11 seconds before half and give the Cardinal a lead, 17-7.

Montgomery finished with 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, catching three passes for 56 yards, rushing for 30 yards on two carries and racking up 204 yards returning kicks.

Washington (4-1) outgained Stanford (5-0) 489-284 in total yards and the Huskies accumulated a whopping 30 first downs to 14 for Stanford. However, Washington was mistake-prone, committing costly turnovers and penalties against the defending Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champions.

The game ended in the final minutes when officials overturned a fourth-down, 16-yard reception by Washington wide receiver Kevin Smith, who dived for the catch. After reviewing TV replays, officials said the ball hit the ground. Huskies quarterback Keith Price threw for 350 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

People, Places & Programs

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Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich earned the Sportsman of the Year award from The Gabarrón International Awards 2013, which are being presented Nov. 8 in New York City.

Dr. T.J. Rosandich, the Academy’s vice president and COO, is traveling this month to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa to support the university’s international sports education programs.

Attending the 2013 Olympia Bodybuilding and Fitness Weekend are (left to right): Jim Manion, International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League President, Pamela Kagan, IFBB Executive Assistant, Dr. Bob Goldman, United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees member, and Dr. Rafaele Santona, IFBB President.

Dr. William Steffen, the Academy’s Chair of Sports Coaching, made a presentation at the Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) 28th annual conference Oct. 2-5 in New Orleans.

Mr. Charles Temple, the Academy’s Project Director, led preparations for the campus orientation Oct. 14-15 of about 20 faculty members teaching the International Diploma in Physical Education and Scholastic Sports (IDPESS) program in Malaysia.

Dr. Lawrence Bestmann, a longtime Academy faculty member, is presenting Oct. 13 the university’s Philosophy of Shaolin Kung Fu online courses at the Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival in Los Angeles.

Dr. Gary Cunningham, an Academy Board of Trustees member and U.S. Federation of Sport Universities president, is presenting Oct. 13 to Shaolin Temple Abbot Shi Yongxin a leather bound book of the Academy’s Philosophy of Shaolin Kung Fu courses in both Chinese and English at the Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival in Los Angeles.

Dr. Bob Goldman, an Academy Board of Trustees member and International Sports Hall of Fame founder and chairman, attended the 2013 Olympia Bodybuilding and Fitness Weekend.

Major Program Events:

The Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival – Oct. 8-15 in Los Angeles, Calif.

World Conference on Doping in Sport – Nov. 12-15 in Johannesburg, South Africa

Athletic Business Conference & Expo – Nov. 21-23 in San Diego, Calif.

National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association National Athletic Directors Conference – Dec. 14-17 in Anaheim, Calif.

Academy Bachelor’s Students Can Now Take General Education Courses from StraighterLine

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The United States Sports Academy now offers bachelor’s students a less expensive and quicker way to complete their required general education courses.

Students coming out of high school or starting college for the first time, who want to earn their bachleor’s degree in sports from the Academy, can take the 12 necessary general education classes online at StraighterLine.

General education online courses from StraighterLine now accepted in Academy's bachelor's degree programs.

As a Partner College with StraighterLine, the courses will automatically transfer to the Academy into its bachelor’s degrees in Sports Management, Sports Coaching, Sports Studies and Strength and Conditioning.

“We are very excited about this new, low-cost option that allows bachelor’s students to get to the Academy by taking general education classes with StraighterLine,” said Dr. Tim Foley, the Academy’s Dean of Student Services. “StraighterLine’s courses are online, similar to the Academy’s programs, where students can work at their own pace.”

StraighterLine general education courses, which are recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) and accepted for transfer by the Academy are: Accounting I, English I, English II, College Algebra, Computer Science, Intro to Communications, Intro to Nutrition, Intro to Psychology, Intro to Sociology, Principles of Management, U.S. History I, and U.S. History II.

StraighterLine’s online courses are self-paced, flexible and convenient, and offer a quicker and less expensive alternative to attend the Academy. Whether you’re a new student or a transfer student who takes StraighterLine’s 12 general education courses, the Academy will waive its $50 application fee.

The Academy, known as “America’s Sports University,” has been a leader in sports education for more than 40 years. The university, which is regionally accredited at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, added an upper-division bachelor’s degree to its programs in 2004. Since then, the sports university has aided hundreds of college students in completing their bachelor’s degrees.

For more traditional students, the Academy announced earlier this summer its partnership with Alabama Southern Community College. ASCC students can now seamlessly earn a bachelor’s in Sports Management from the Academy after earning their associates degree.

The schools agreed to establish a so-called 2+2 program. It allows students at the multi-campus community college in southwest Alabama to take two years of study that will prepare them to attend the Academy. Once they earn an associate’s degree, students can then enroll in the Academy’s bachelor’s program in Sports Management and get their degree in as little as two years.

To learn more about the Academy’s partnerships with StraighterLine and ASCC, call 251-626-3303, email academy@ussa.edu or visit this StraighterLine website.

B’Beth Weldon Named Official Artist for the 25th Anniversary Polo at the Point Event

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Fairhope, Ala., painter B'Beth Weldon’s vibrant oil on canvas, “Off Back Shot,” brings to life a rider swinging his mallet as his horse gallops at high speed. Weldon was selected as the official artist of the 25th annual Polo at the Point.

B’Beth Weldon started riding horses at 4-years-old and even owned and operated a ranch, Prosperity Ridge, where she made a living breeding and raising horses.

She recalls sitting on a blanket with her mother, Margaret Weldon, also a celebrated artist, and watching polo matches growing up. She later played in a few ladies matches, as well.

It’s no wonder the Fairhope, Ala., painter was selected as the official artist of the 25th annual Polo at the Point. The premier charity sporting event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26 a Sonny Hill-Clearwater Polo Complex in Point Clear, Ala. Weldon was also chosen as the official artist in 2011.

“Having been raised around horses as a young girl, I would go with my mother to the Point Clear Polo Club matches,” Weldon recalled. “She studied and photographed Polo Ponies for the commissions she would paint. Being the official artist is a fabulous honor. I am so thankful for the opportunity and the exposure.”

Weldon’s vibrant oil on canvas, “Off Back Shot,” brings to life a rider swinging his mallet as his horse gallops at high speed.

Polo at the Point committee members said the painting captures Weldon’s “passion for color, life, nature, adventure” and polo and “depicts the athleticism and competitive spirit” of the event.

The artwork along with other Weldon pieces and paintings by her special needs children that she works with in her Gifted Masterpiece Workshops will be up for sale at the event. Portions of the proceeds will benefit USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and Thomas Hospital’s Pediatric Rehab Program.

Weldon currently works as a full-time artist in her studio in Fairhope and teaches art classes to children and adults. Her paintings are held in private and corporate collections both nationally and internationally.

Weldon spent most of her summers in Point Clear and Fairhope where when she was not riding horses or sailing, Weldon studied art from other well-known artists along the Gulf Coast.

Educated in Washington, D.C., Weldon studied at Mount Vernon College and Georgetown University, earning degrees in Business Administration and in Arts and Humanities, respectively. While in Washington D.C., she worked for the Smithsonian Institute and Capital Children’s Museum.

Weldon currently works as a full-time artist in her studio in Fairhope and teaches art classes to children and adults. Her paintings are held in private and corporate collections both nationally and internationally.

“Finishing a painting is the same rush as jumping a fence on the back of a horse,” Weldon said. “I hope my paintings speak to people and spark good memories and emotions. I want people to feel the energy of life from a powerful horse or in a simple vase of flowers in my paintings.”

Academy Serving as Collection Center for Toys for Tots for 18th Year

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The United States Sports Academy is serving as a collection center for Toys for Tots for the 18th year.

Long considered one of South Alabama’s largest collection centers for the Toys for Tots program, local residents, organizations, companies and schools may drop off their new, unwrapped toys at the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus to help assist those who need it most this time of year.

Donations will be accepted from Friday, Nov. 1 through Friday, Dec. 13 during the university’s regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The Academy is located at One Academy Drive, Daphne, Ala., 36526, which is off of U.S. Highway 98 just south of Interstate 10.

“The Toys for Tots program is, in fact, one of the best things the Academy has done with the community, and that is really what it is all about,” Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich said.

The primary goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. Since the inception of Toys for Tots, more than 400 million toys have been distributed to more than 188 million needy children.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to children. The following year, the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the concept and made it a national endeavor.

If you do not live in Baldwin or Mobile Counties, please visit the Toys for Tots website at www.toysfortots.org/donate/ to find a drop location in your area or to make a donation online.

Please contact the Academy’s Matthew Cope, Director of Operations, at 251-626-3303, if you have any questions about this project.

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