DEARBORN, Mich. – The introduction of an Athletics Hall of Fame at the University of Michigan-Dearborn was a vision of former Director of Athletics & Recreation Dr. Peggy Foss during her time with the department in the 1990s and early 2000s.
That vision has become a reality, as UM-Dearborn established the first Athletics Hall of Fame with the first class set to be inducted at 7 pm tonight in the Michigan Room of Fairlane Center South in Dearborn.
Foss, who served as the UM-Dearborn Director of Athletics & Recreation from 1990-2004, will be a part of the first class to be inducted to the Hall of Fame, along with four other Wolverine legends.
The list of accomplishments for Foss is substantial, with educational and professional achievements that make her a more-than-worthy recipient of this honor. The Wolf Point, Mont., native earned a B.A. in 1958 from Jamestown College, in Jamestown, N.D., attending the institution on a four-year academic scholarship. She was the first woman to be awarded a teaching assistantship in the Department of Physical Education at South Dakota State College, in Brookings, S.D., where she received her M.S. in 1960.
Foss earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1979. She was a two-time recipient of the Mildred B. Erickson Scholarship for Women in Continuing Education.
The path in academia as a professional for Foss started at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she served as the Chair of the Department of Physical Education for Women. She went on to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa to take a role as an instructor in the Department of Physical Education for Men, while teaching classes in professional preparation and recreation leadership.
Foss moved to Michigan to become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Education for Women at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before transitioning to UM-Dearborn in 1980. In her first decade in Dearborn, Foss was an Assistant Professor of Education, while working to implement courses, professional preparation programs for students, workshops, and lectures for the UM-Dearborn community and public school educators on the topic of health and fitness.
In 1990, Foss took over in the Department of Athletics & Recreation, helping to reinstate varsity and club programs, while expanding offerings. She helped secure funding and grants to upgrade facilities, including the rock wall, Zamboni, gym curtains and gym floor.
During her time with the UM-Dearborn Department of Athletics & Recreation, Foss served on over 25 different committees and task forces, while chairing several committees across campus. She was a member of the NAIA Athletic Directors Association, serving terms as Secretary, Vice President and a four-year term as President, among many other roles at the conference and national level.
Her vast list of awards includes UM-Dearborn Distinguished Service Award and two NAIA Awards of Merit. She was elected into the University of Jamestown Alumni Hall of Fame and to the Board of Trustees. The Kinesiology wing of the Foss Wellness Center at Jamestown bears the Foss name.
Peggy and her husband Dr. Merle Foss have been married for 60 years. Merle is a retired Professor of Exercise Physiology in the UM-Ann Arbor School of Kinesiology.
Foss joins fellow inductees, Jesse Hubenschmidt (Men's Ice Hockey), Diane Calliway (Women's Basketball), Patrick Hughes (Men' Basketball) and Mike "Gib" Gibson (Former Volleyball Head Coach) in the first class to be honored by the UM-Dearborn Athletics Hall of Fame.