Distinguished Alumni Awards
Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award
Kathleen Cordes - 2014
Professor Emeritus Kathleen Cordes directly served as a college/university professor, chair, coach, and director. As a teacher of teachers, author of 14 books, reporter, and commentator, she empowered many of her students to teach wholesome physical activity and encouraged others to participate. For her teaching, leadership, and administrative efforts, Cordes is a recipient of the national, district, and state American Alliance of Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Honor Awards. For her authorship of textbooks and other work in recreation, she received the national and state awards for Distinguished Service to Recreation and was elected American Leisure Academy Senior Fellow.
During her career, Ms. Cordes was one of the first female directors of men and women’s athletics in the country; the first female varsity coach at the University of Notre Dame; and the first athletic director of Saint Mary’s College. Her impact on college curriculums as department chair at Whittier and Miramar colleges in California and as district honors director for the San Diego Community College District drew respect nationally and internationally. She was named in Who’s Who in the World, America, American Women, Teaching, and International Dance. One of her college textbooks was translated into Chinese and she was a visiting professor during summers in Venezuela. Ms. Cordes also served as a reporter for the Olympic Arts in Los Angeles, as a commentator, and as news/sports director in Northern Arizona. Finally among her many duties as an executive director in Reston, Virginia for the American Association for Leisure and Recreation, she worked with the White House on America's trails. The National Park Service Trails Director wrote that her books are a "...gift that just might be in place for public enjoyment a thousand years from now!"