Former Yalie Honored by NCAA

Nov. 7, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Former Yale track & field standout Patricia Melton has been selected as one of six recipients of the 2007 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. The award has been presented annually since 1973 to former student-athletes whose collegiate careers ended 25 years ago and who have gone on to excel in their chosen professions. Melton will receive her award at the NCAA Honors Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 7, during the annual NCAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The recipients were chosen by the NCAA Honors Committee, a group comprised of eight athletic administrators at member schools and nationally distinguished former student-athletes.

Melton graduated from Yale in 1982 with a degree in Afro-American studies. She served as captain of both the indoor and outdoor teams as a senior, and was named the 1982 Ivy League Runner of the Year. In addition, she was named the outstanding performer at both the indoor and outdoor Heptagonal Championships that year. Melton won seven Heptagonal titles during her career. In 1982, she won a silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships and was named All-American. She is still the Yale record holder indoors in the 400 meters and outdoors in the 400-meter hurdles. Melton was a finalist in the 800 meters at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Melton volunteered with the Special Olympics and was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps reserve while at Yale. She currently works as the lead school design consultant and early college high school expert for the Center of Excellence in Leadership and Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis. Melton is also a consultant with YouthBuild USA, a national nonprofit organization based out of Somerville, Mass., that assists out-of-school and dropout youth. She has spent the last 20 years working to expand educational opportunities for all students, with a focus on high school completion and college access. Melton has been instrumental in the creation of nine new schools from K-12 in Washington, Ohio and Indiana.

She was an assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 1986-88 and worked with the Seattle Goodwill Games Organizing Committee as assistant vice president for sports from 1988-90. Melton was named to the Ivy League Silver Anniversary Team in 1999. In addition to her many civic contributions to various organizations around the country, Melton received a fellowship award from the Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs program for emerging national school leaders, sponsored by the charter school division of the U.S. Department of Education and Arizona State University.

This is the second consecutive year, and fourth time overall, that a Yale woman has won the Silver Anniversary Award. Former swimming and softball star Susan Wellington '81, the former president of Gatorade, was recognized last year. Melton becomes the 11th Bulldog to receive the honor.

The other recipients of the honor this year are: Gail Koziara Boudreaux (Dartmouth, basketball and track & field), Rowdy Gaines (Auburn, swimming), Steve Jordan (Brown, football), Ann Woods Smith (Florida, gymnastics), and William Stetson, M.D. (USC, volleyball). The Ivy League becomes just the second conference with three recipients in the same year, joining the Pac-10 in 2003.

Some information from the NCAA used in Joe Clifford's report.

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