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Dr. Evie Dennis

March 23, 2012

  • First African-American female to serve as VP for the USOC (1981-88) and the first to be the second vice-president of AAU
  • First African-American female  to be Chef de Mission for the USOC for two Pan American Games and the 1988 Olympic Team

Dr. Evie Dennis has distinguished herself through a lifetime of achievement, including her dedication as a visionary leader and pioneering advocate for political and legislative change to advance and enhance opportunities for all individuals, especially women, disadvantaged, underserved and minority populations—specifically in the areas of education, Olympic sports and amateur athletics.

Dennis has been the recipient of numerous national and local awards and honors for excellence in education, humanitarian and athletics achievement, including the International Olympic Committee’s prestigious Olympic Order—one of only 26 in the United States at the time, who had received this award since its inception. Dennis was also the first African-American female to be Chef de Mission for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for two Pan American Games and the 1988 Olympics. She was also the first African-American female to serve as vice president for the USOC, doing so from 1981-88 and was also the first African-American female to serve as second vice president for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

Dennis also spent time as a research associate for the Children’s Asthma Research Institute, and eventually transitioned into the education sector, serving in many capacities with Denver Public Schools, culminating her career as the superintendent. Her layered life of athletics and education worked in concert throughout the 1980s; serving as deputy superintendent of Denver Public schools, while simultaneously serving as president of The Athletics Congress (the predecessor to USATF).

Dennis has been involved with the USOC throughout her career, serving as a member of the executive committee from 1976-92 and was the chair of the committees for Women and Diversity and currently sits on the Governing Bodies Council. In addition, Dennis is currently a member of the National Board for the Shaka Franklin Foundation and is a 32-year member of the Advisory Board for Sportswomen of Colorado. She is a member of the USA Track and Field Federation, the Colorado Association – USA Track and Field Federation and the Rocky Mountain Association – AAU.