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ERIE, Pa. — After decades of service to the Gannon athletics department, Kathy MacMurdy and Dee Smith announced their retirements this summer.
MacMurdy served as the department’s business manager and senior women’s administrator since April 2000, and spent the past seven years as the assistant director of athletics for business and finance. Smith has worked as an administrative assistant for the department since 1989.
“Kathy has been at the center of our department’s foundation for years,” Gannon Director of Athletics Lisa Goddard McGuirk said. “Her dedication and commitment to excellence is unrivalled; tirelessly working to support the endeavors of our student-athletes, coaches and the university. We are forever grateful for Kathy’s years of service, as she has made a lasting, positive impact on our department. We wish her all the best as she begins her retirement.”
After shifting from the university’s finance and administration office in 2000, MacMurdy was responsible for all financial reports for athletics, and monitored budgets and athletic scholarships awarded to student-athletes. She also oversaw team travel, ticket sales and event staff supervision.
Smith began her Gannon career in the University Library for a combined eight years over two different periods. In 1989, she became the secretary for the Golden Knight football team when the program was resurrected. She spent 18 years with football before becoming the administrative assistant for the department of athletics in 2007, including duties as the advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in the late 2000s.
“We are grateful for the years of service Dee has provided supporting our student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” McGuirk said. “Dee has been dedicated to ensuring the operation of our department runs smoothly and has been committed to our coaches and administrators. She went above and beyond to help whenever someone needed assistance. We thank her for her years of commitment to supporting our Gannon Knights.”
Praise for Kathy and Dee from Gannon staff and coaches:
“No matter how busy Kathy and Dee were, they always had time to sit and listen to our problems and what was happening in life in general. They will be missed as employees but so much more as friends.”
-Billy Colton, Men’s Soccer
“Kathy Mac … I will miss you! The work accomplishments speak for themselves. I’ll miss working with one of my best friends. You are there for everyone. Not only do you have all the answers professionally, it was not uncommon to see a colleague or student in your office simply talking about life. You are there in good times and bad times. You are consistent as a professional and as a friend. Gannon will miss you greatly. The talent, experience and knowledge that you take with you can’t be replaced. There are a ton of stories I could share, but I’ll always remember the quote that brought you to the Gannon Athletics family. The beloved and late Michael Corbett saying “come over to athletics … it will be fun!” You have worked hard your entire career and it’s time to relax. Enjoy your retirement. No one deserves it more than you. Best of wishes in everything you do.”
“Dee … I will miss you! You were one of only four current colleagues in the Gannon athletics department when I walked through the door for the first time in 1999 as a green and inexperienced sports information director. You were welcoming, patient and supportive since day one. I wouldn’t have been able to progress without you. It’s a testament to the lives you have touched that student-athletes still come back to see you year after year. And who knew when I moved into my current house, I was moving into your neighborhood. I couldn’t have picked a better neighbor. Unfortunately for you, that means there will be no avoiding me even in retirement. For years, I have seen you do great things for everyone else. Now, you get to do great things for yourself. Congratulations on a great career and enjoy your retirement.”
-Dan Teliski, Associate Athletics Director
“Kathy and Dee are excellent examples of the kind of people we have here at Gannon. They are both caring and kind individuals who make you feel special. Their dedication and commitment to provide a positive experience for our student-athletes went above and beyond. We will truly miss their smiling faces and their constant words of encouragement, as well as their many contributions to the success of Gannon Athletics.”
-Cleve Wright, Women’s Basketball
“I don’t know what I could really say about both of these women that would do justice to the tremendous impact that they made here at Gannon over the years. When a team is strong, it is because those in leadership have a servant’s heart. These women have served well and have given sacrificially for Gannon. I have only known them for a short time, and they have both made an impact on myself and my career. They have helped keep my feet on the ground on several occasions. Both of you surely will be missed and I look forward to seeing you at future events as a friend instead of colleague.”
-Christen Dierken, Women’s Wrestling
“I just want to say thank you Kathy and Dee. When I first started coaching, they helped me so much. I had a lot of questions and they always helped me with a smile! Words cannot express how much I appreciate all they did for our program. Thanks Kathy and Dee. Enjoy your retirement!”
-Scott Stano, Women’s Golf
“Kathy: It was a great pleasure to work with you over the years, and I appreciate all the help and guidance you provided to me as I was learning the ropes at Gannon — I couldn’t have done it without you. More importantly, however, Beth, the kids, and I appreciate you as YOU. We will miss you greatly, so please try to see us when you can. Congratulations on a very much deserved retirement.”
“Dee: The Darlings will miss seeing you whenever we come crashing through the doors of the ‘Mill on basketball game nights and through the back doors of the RWC on days when I need to bring the kids to work. It was a pleasure to work with you, and I’ll miss you at Gannon. Congratulations on your retirement, and may you enjoy it to the fullest.”
-Matt Darling, Women’s Volleyball