Big Ten Celebrates Black History Month

Feb. 1, 2008

  • Black History Month section

    Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference announced the continued effort to commemorate the achievements of African-Americans on Big Ten campuses with its Black History Month website. During the month of February, the website will feature stories on male and female student-athletes from each institution and can be accessed at

    Additionally, the Big Ten Network will take an in-depth look at the challenges and struggles facing many African-American women coaches in Division I college basketball. The programming will feature insights and revealing observations from the first African-American women's head coach in the Big Ten--former Iowa mentor C. Vivian Stringer--along with commentary from the conference's three current African-American coaches--Illinois' Jolette Law, Indiana's Felisha Legette-Jack and Penn State's Coquese Washington. The series will air on "Big Ten Tonight." The Big Ten Network will also feature other former African-American student-athletes as part of Black History Month programming throughout the month of February.

    "The Big Ten Conference is proud to once again celebrate Black History Month by highlighting the incredible success stories of African-American student-athletes on each of our 11 campuses," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. "We are also excited that the Big Ten Network will be providing additional coverage to honor these outstanding individuals and their vital role to the history of this conference."

    A total of 22 former student-athletes will be honored on the Big Ten's website. The distinguished group includes: Illinois' Dana Howard (football) and Perdita Felicien (women's track and field), Indiana's Anthony Thompson (football) and DeDee Nathan (women's track and field), Iowa's Ronnie Lester (men's basketball) and Michelle Edwards (women's basketball), Michigan's Desmond Howard (football) and Stacey Thomas (women's basketball), Michigan State's Gideon "Charlie" Smith (football) and Judi Brown Clarke (women's track and field), Minnesota's Sandy Stephens (football) and Linda Roberts (women's basketball), Northwestern's D'Wayne Bates (football) and Michele Savage (women's basketball), Ohio State's Kevin Hall (men's golf) and Jessica Davenport (women's basketball), Penn State's Jesse Arnelle (men's basketball and football) and Kahadeejah Herbert (women's basketball), Purdue's Lamar Lundy (football and men's basketball) and Ukari Figgs (women's basketball) and Wisconsin's Lee Kemp (wrestling) and Sherisa Livingston (volleyball).

    The Black History Month website will feature the conference's first African-American student-athlete--Moses "Fleetwood" Walker. In addition, the site includes information on the Big Ten's contributions through the Advisory Commission, the SCORE (Success Comes Out of Reading Everyday) program and the C.D. Henry internship.