Trophy case dedication highlights OU athletics history, donor support

Three new trophy cases in Dorough Fieldhouse were officially dedicated on April 22, as part of the Alumni Weekend festivities. The trophy cases were made possible through donations from supporters of Oglethorpe athletics: Bo Holland and Susan Soper ’69Fred Ackley ’68; and Peter and Barbara Howell.

These individuals have different connections to Oglethorpe athletics, but their commitment aligns on the importance of supporting student-athletes and highlighting their athletic achievements.

When visiting campus several years ago, Holland, who has been a supporter of the OU men’s golf team through his affiliation with Peachtree Golf Club, asked to see the trophies from the two NCAA Golf Championships and those of the other championship teams at Oglethorpe. Coach Jim Owen says that at that time, the trophies were spread around campus because space was limited in the existing trophy cases, and the number of team accolades was growing.

Holland and his wife Susie Soper, who is a former OU staff member and trustee, felt they could help with that dilemma and made a commitment to fund the first of three new trophy cases to house championship trophies, even selecting the prominent location at mid-court in the gallery.

Ackley, who had an exceptional experience as a student-athlete at Oglethorpe, valued the personal and intellectual freedom Oglethorpe afforded him. He played soccer at OU initially, but found his passion in the riflery team, becoming team captain, and found a mentor in rifle coach Chief Sewell P. Edwards. He too saw a need to highlight the accomplishments of the OU athletic teams and donated to support a new trophy case. These new conference championship trophy cases will now free up space to display some of Ackley’s own awards from the 1960s.

The family of legendary OU tennis coach Peter Howell had been interested in finding a way to honor his legacy at Oglethorpe, and the trophy case became the perfect opportunity for their philanthropy. Howell coached at OU for over 20 years and is a prominent figure in the Atlanta tennis community, having been inducted into the OU Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame, the USPTA-Southern Division Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Professional Tennis Hall of Fame. Now, the conference-title trophy his Oglethorpe team earned will be housed in the case dedicated in his name.

“Together, these three generous donations have combined to fulfill the collective vision of a space to highlight Oglethorpe’s championship trophies,” said Director of Athletics Todd Brooks. “We are proud of our teams’ conference and national championships and grateful for this prominent new space to properly showcase these awards and honor the incredible achievements of our student athletes.”