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Ohio Wesleyan Declares Feb. 10 ‘Frank Shannon Day’ to Honor Legendary Coach

January 25, 2007

In honor of the late Frank E. Shannon, a legendary Ohio Wesleyan University basketball and tennis coach, the university will hold “Frank Shannon Day” in conjunction with the men’s basketball game vs. Earlham College at 3 p.m. Feb. 10. The special event will include the announcement of a fund-raising campaign in Shannon’s name and recognition of OWU men’s basketball alumni in attendance. It will be streamed live on the Web at stream.owu.edu.

A legend at Ohio Wesleyan, Shannon coached men’s basketball for more than 20 years and spearheaded men’s tennis for six years. His nurturing and guidance sent two graduates on to National Basketball Association (NBA) careers — Barry Clemens ’65, a third-round draft pick who spent 11 years in the league, and Tates Locke ’59, a coach for the former Buffalo Braves.

In recognition of his lasting impact, a group of Ohio Wesleyan alumni organized a fund-raising effort called “Friends of Frank” to name the men’s basketball coach’s office in his honor. This effort – part of the larger $22 million “Remembering Mr. Rickey” campaign for athletics, recreation, physical education, and dance – will fund refurbishment of the office in historic Edwards Gym. The group has raised approximately $22,000 toward its $30,000 goal, with plans to collect all funds by the end of February.

“Because Frank had such a lasting impact on his players and the university as a whole, it’s only fitting to honor his life with the naming of OWU’s men’s basketball office,” says Art Shilt ’64, one of the “Friends of Frank” organizers. “Our hope on ‘Frank Shannon Day’ is to encourage graduates and friends whose lives were touched by Frank to remember him in the best way possible — through athletics.”

A Springfield, Ohio, native, Shannon himself deferred a professional baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians because of World War II. After the war, he became a player and coach with the Youngstown Bears, a forerunner of the NBA. Shannon died in December 2005 at age 88.

Individuals interested in contributing to the “Friends of Frank” effort may contact the Ohio Wesleyan Development Office at 740-368-3308 or make a gift online at community.owu.edu/giveToOWU. For more information on the “Remembering Mr. Rickey” campaign, visit mrrickey.owu.edu.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, dedicated to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. Located in Delaware, Ohio, 20 miles north of the state capital, Ohio Wesleyan is a coeducational, residential, privately supported undergraduate institution. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges and is featured in the book Colleges That Change Lives. The faculty includes more than 135 educators, all of whom actively teach and hold either doctoral degrees or the highest recognized professional degrees in their fields. Approximately 1,850 students representing 44 states and 45 countries attend Ohio Wesleyan. More information is available at www.owu.edu.