DAPHNE, Ala. – The United States Sports Academy has named its library the “Dr. Robert Block Library” in honor of the Founding Chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees.
The naming was held in conjunction with the Academy’s recent 32nd annual Awards of Sport program. Block – who played a crucial role in the founding and growth of the Academy – holds an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Academy.
“Bob is all things to all people; he is the perfect balance of a man,” Academy Founder and President Emeritus Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich said. “Bob has been a very successful businessman and a very good friend.”
Block thanked Rosandich and the Academy for being an important and influential part of his life.
“I wanted to be here to thank you,” Block said at the naming announcement. “You gave me so much over the years and I wanted to be here to thank you.”
In addition to being the Founding Chairman of Academy’s Board of Trustees, Block has been a board member continuously since the Academy’s inception in 1972, with 44 years of service. Block provided space for the Academy’s first location in Milwaukee, Wisc. Together with Rosandich and other founding members of the board, Block also helped recruit and select the Academy’s first National Faculty. Block was also instrumental in the creation of the Academy’s logo, which has become a symbol recognized around the world.
“Bob had a beautiful building in Milwaukee and gave me access to it to put together the first facility for the Academy,” Rosandich said. “In those days when he was flying airplanes and he went around looking at things he thought might work for the Academy; he helped us make it all come together.”
When the Academy moved to the University of South Alabama campus in Mobile, Ala., in 1976 and to its current home in Daphne, Ala., in 1986, Block continued as a dedicated member of the Board of Trustees.
Rosandich called the library a “special place” with a unique and memorable collection of books, art and historic Olympic memorabilia and manuscripts.
“We have in there a very large Olympic collection of medals, art and manuscripts that people have donated to us, so it is a special place,” Rosandich said. “And it couldn’t be named for a better guy.”
Dr. T.J. Rosandich, current Academy President and Chief Executive Officer, said naming the library for Block is particularly appropriate.
“The library is considered to be the heart of a University, so it is fitting that the Academy’s library now bears the name of Dr. Robert Block, a person who was central to the founding of the Academy,” Rosandich said.
The President of 3D Business Tools in Reno, Nev., Block has had a long and successful career in the computer software, communication and entertainment industries that includes pioneering roles in commercial and pay television, as well as cellular telephone operating companies. Block has contributed significantly to the creation and development of entertainment and communication technologies used worldwide. He has been granted more than 150 U.S. and foreign patents, including patents related to solar energy panels, in-building communications, and pay-per-view television, as well as terrestrial and satellite distribution systems.
He is a published author and founder of numerous companies in the communications, energy, software development, and entertainment fields.
Block is also a founder and chairman of ShipCom, a Federal Communications Commission licensed United States provider of high seas voice and data communications for emergency responders. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, the Coast Guard’s communication facilities were damaged and inoperative. ShipCom took over the Coast Guard’s communications with rescue aircrafts for 12 days. For ShipCom’s efforts, the Coast Guard presented Block with a commendation award for saving the lives of more than 33,000 people.
Based in Daphne, Ala., 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.