Sept. 12, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Nike honors SRU graduate with building
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Nike, the Oregon-based footwear company, has paid tribute to women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, a 1970 and 1973 Slippery Rock University graduate, by naming a child development center after her. The facility includes a wing for toddlers called The Rock.
The 35,000-square-foot C. Vivian Stringer Child Development Center in Beaverton, Or. houses 26 classrooms and will provide learning opportunities for 300 children ages six months to five. Nike dedicated the building this week.
"I am tremendously touched by this amazing honor from Nike," said Stringer, head women's basketball coach for Rutgers University. "I am a fairly humble person and have a hard time accepting accolades so this (a building named in my honor) has hit me very hard. Coaching is my passion and so many individuals have touched my life personally and professional, helping me reach goals I never imaged.
Nike divided the building into four wings honoring Stringer's professional associations: infants (Scarlet Knights), toddlers (The Rock), transition (Hawkeyes) and preschool (Wolves). The center also includes the Stoner Family Lobby. Stoner is Stringer's maiden name and recognizes her five siblings, Jack, Tim Verna, Madeline and Richelle. The conference room is named Vivian and Bill's, in honor of Stringer's late husband.
Two adjoining courtyards acknowledge Stringer's parents, Thelma and Charles Stoner. Another pair of courtyards recognize Stringer's late father-in-law Pascal and mother-in-law Marian Stringer. Four playgrounds adorn the outside grounds. Three of the play facilities are named for Stringer's three children, David, Justin and Nina. The fourth is named for Keonte Williams, Stringer's niece.
Stringer, a physical education graduate from SRU, is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and a National Coach of the Year. She was the assistant coach for the women's 2004 U.S. Olympic team, which won a Gold Medal in Athens.
Stringer described her years at SRU as "the most exciting time of my life." Her late husband is a 1968 SRU graduate.
Stringer began her illustrious coaching career at Cheyney State in 1971. She compiled a 251-51 ledger in 12 seasons, taking the Lady Wolves to the first-ever women's basketball national championship game in 1982. Stringer was at the helm at the University of Iowa from 1983-1995, reaching the Final Four in 1993.
Stringer has led Rutgers to two Final Four appearances during her 13-year tenure (2000, 2007). In 2000, she became the first coach - male or female - to take three different programs to the Final Four. This past season, Stringer became just the third women's coach and the ninth coach overall to record 800 wins.
"I am blessed to have had success and I know without so many phenomenal people in my life, it would not have been possible to win 100 games much less 800," Stringer said. "I cannot imagine ever doing anything other than teaching young women which makes this center even more special to me."
The Stringer Center utilizes a "green" design. Nike used 80 percent recycled materials and included solar panels to minimize energy consumption.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.