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DO NOT SHUT DOWN STILLMAN FOOTBALL! Stillman College Alumni Call for Athletic Program Retention Decision

This petition had 380 supporters


BLUF: 

  • We DO NOT support dismantling the current athletic program
  • We call for more TRANSPARENCY from the Stillman Administration
  • President Peter Millet must not eliminate the football program, and should work with alumni to maximize fundraising for the school
  • We have not been aggressive in our financial support to our Alma Mater; we pledge to give, support, and restore a culture of giving 

 

For 140 years, Stillman College has been a beacon of light and an oasis of learning in Northwest Alabama. The school’s rich heritage, steeped in Presbyterian tradition, has been the grooming grounds for charismatic scholars who are now accomplished leaders, and are deeply passionate about the continued growth and success of our Alma Mater. 

For more than a decade, Stillman Athletics has been the home of some of the most talented athletes this side of the Mason Dixon. Stillman athletes are educators, businessmen, lawyers, and doctors. Their humble beginnings began in the field house and workout room of our Alma Mater and they have carried the torch with a certain eminence, one can only acquire at Stillman.

In the last 10 years, the athletic program has produced four National Football League players -- including Super Bowl Champion Brian Witherspoon, several Arena Football League players, two Euro-league professional basketball players, three back-to-back SIAC Tennis Championships, three SIAC Baseball Championships, and in 2014 lauded sixteen SIAC All-Academic Team honorees – more than any other conference institution.

While we trust our Trustees and College Administration,  we are appalled that the College has not been transparent, and is considering dismantling this golden legacy and our current athletic program, to include the complete removal of the football program. We are also appalled that we were not included in discussions around eliminating the football team and/or other athletic programs. To be clear, we DO NOT support any decision to dismantle the program, or the process leading up to the decision which excluded the voice of Stillman alumni.

Eliminating athletic programs is not a wise decision with regards to current admission trends and needs. The ideal student in today’s market is looking for an institution where they can express their individuality and participate in a cause that is bigger than they are. Stillman has seen its share of trying times. However, now is not the time to take such drastic matters as eliminating athletic programs.

Alumni are concerned with the current waves of terminations, eliminations of programs and services, and lack of transparency from the administration. As former athletes of our renowned Stillman it grieves us that there would even be a consideration of eliminating any athletic program without the opinions and concerns of alumni being heard. Not only is this a disservice to the hundreds of former athletes that have played for the institution, but it is a tremendous disservice to the current generation of athletes – more than 300, of the less than 1,000 students enrolled -- roaming the halls of our beloved Stillman. No decision should be made without the notification and approval of all of Stillman’s stakeholders students, faculty, community supporters and concerned alumni. Eliminating any athletic program would be a direct assault on the future support of the current administration.

We will, however, support Stillman Athletics and the Stillman College Administration through this difficult period for the greater good of our Alma Mater.  In doing so, we ask for and expect that the NAASC will have an open dialogue, representation and involvement in future major decisions regarding Stillman. With regard to that relationship, we also ask the athletic program remains as is, and that further investigation and strategic planning be conducted to raise funds that will remove the financial burden the College currently carries, thus eliminating a need to dismantle the athletic program. This includes, but is not limited to alumni giving.

As the official body of alumni representatives, we are passionate about Stillman College and her success. However, we realize we have not been as aggresive in our giving. WE MUST GIVE MORE to restore our Alma Mater.  It is our goal to work toward a more supportive governing framework for Stillman. It is simple:

  • we do not support dismantling the athletic program; we ask that President Millet offers a full overview of the current status of the athletic program, reasons behind potentially dismantling the program, and the current state of the college to include monies needed to sustain the college
  • we will support our administration in finding the most appropriate solutions to the current financial crisis
  • we ask that the decision to retain the current athletic program be made and that the NAASC is provided the opportunity to voice concerns and plans of action surrounding the issue

This petition serves as staunch statement on where united alumni stand. We trust the signatures prove how passionate we are, along with how prepared we are to take action in moving our Alma Mater forward.

 

 



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