Few people have had such a powerful and lasting impact on Gill St. Bernard’s, and in particular on athletics, as Dick Emmitt. – Sid Rowell, May 15, 2017
This week, Dick Emmitt, P '02, officially stepped down from his role as president of the Athletic Booster Club, a position he has held since the club was established in 2004. In recognition of his service, Head of School Sid Rowell announced that the Cox Field Lodge will be renamed the Dick Emmitt Booster Lodge in a ceremony at Homecoming on September 23, 2017.
In the early 2000s, Emmitt was an important catalyst in the transformation of Gill’s athletic program. "My vision was never to turn Gill into a sports academy," he said. "We know what comes first, but I wanted kids to have the opportunities to be as good as they could be in athletics." To that end, Emmitt worked with Rowell on bringing the school into the NJSIAA. Membership would mean that GSB teams could compete in state championships and also that the school’s athletics programs would be covered by regional newspapers. In 2003, Emmitt also took the lead in founding an Athletic Booster Club at the school. Because he wanted the club to support not simply athletics but also the larger mission of Gill St. Bernard’s, he proposed that the club make a significant gift to the school’s endowment each year. Leading by example, Emmitt made a substantial contribution to endow need-based financial aid that year (a fund from which students continue to benefit) and he also made contributions to ensure that the Booster Club could begin on a solid financial footing.
Due in large part to Emmitt’s vision, 2004 marked a great year in Gill athletics. It was the school’s first full year in the NJSIAA, the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Booster Club and the long-awaited Athletic Center officially opened on campus.
Reflecting on Emmitt’s contributions over the years, newly-appointed club president Jill Moriarty said, "The Booster Club is here to support our athletes and to provide as much spirit as we can. We credit Dick with having the vision to start it all." Echoing her remarks, Dean of Student Life and former Athletic Director David Pasquale said, "What the athletics program has become has a lot to do with the Booster Club, Sid, Dick and the vision they put forth at that time."
In addition to his work with the Booster Club, Dick Emmitt has been an honorary trustee for more than a decade and is a 2012 recipient of the Lindabury Thomas prize, given each year to a past trustee, for his many contributions to the life of the school.