Kudos to Brother Art Kirk

  • March 23rd, 2018
  • By: Brother DiCorcia



MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference announced its 2018 SSC Hall of Fame class, where nine members will be inducted into the SSC Hall of Fame on March 3 during the SSC Hall of Fame Brunch and Celebration in Lakeland. Former Saint Leo President, Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. was one of nine members selected.

“Dr. Kirk led the entire University to tremendous growth and incredible success,” Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo Director of Athletics, stated. “Our institution and the Sunshine State Conference benefited by his service on the President’s Council on two separate occasions, which is a tribute to his selfless commitment to leadership by example. The student-athletes at Saint Leo, as well as the faculty and staff will forever be grateful for his vision and leadership.”

Dr. Kirk, Saint Leo President 1997-2015, becomes the 16th Saint Leo SSC Hall of Famer with the most recent of David Garcia in 2016. A two-time President of the Sunshine State Conference, Dr. Kirk raised the Saint Leo national profile placing 18th in the Learfield Director’s Cup in 2014 to eighth in 2015 and second in 2016 where under his leadership, the athletic department doubles its’ staff, captured its first Mayor’s Cup while adding a tennis facility, softball stadium, parking garage with lacrosse field on-top, a soccer only facility as well as the addition of lights at each of the new venues.

Before Dr. Kirk, Saint Leo had only appeared in three NCAA Regional Championships but since 1997, the Lions have appeared in over 60 NCAA Regional Championships and have won 21 SSC titles. At the University, Dr. Kirk initiated the President’s Club, which recognizes outstanding student-athletes in the Green and Gold.

During his tenure at Saint Leo, Dr. Kirk reinstated men’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country while growing the institution from eight sports to 19 with new programs of men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s lacrosse and women’s golf.

Dr. Kirk, a 2011 Saint Leo Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal from Pope Francis in 2016, which is the highest honor bestowed on a lay person from the Catholic Church. Dr. Kirk sat on the NCAA President’s Council for two terms, 2003-07 and 2011-15, while he also held positions of Chair on Planning and Finance, 2003-04, and Vice Chair, 2005-07, while was on the Membership Committee from 2011-15.

Outside of the NCAA and Saint Leo, Dr. Kirk was the Chair of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities while also being the Chair of President’s Council of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

We will all have a chance to congratulate Brother Art Kirk and his lovely wife Beverly  in person at our upcoming 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Sigma Beta Tau


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