Higgins Named Creighton Athletics Leader for Life
Mary Higgins, assistant vice president for Student Retention and associate director of the Ratio Studiorum, Creighton’s Jesuit-based system of advising for freshmen and sophomores, will be this year’s recipient of Creighton University’s annual Leader for Life award.
The award, which will be given at the Leaders for Life fundraiser luncheon for women’s athletics at 11:45 a.m. May 2, at the Rev. Michael G. Morrison, S.J., Stadium, honors an individual whose actions have made a lasting impact on women’s sports at the University.
Higgins has been part of the growth and development of women’s athletics for more than 35 years—first as an undergraduate and then throughout her years as a head coach, athletics director and administrator. A 1973 graduate of Creighton University, she served as head softball coach from 1977-1993 and helped secure scholarship funding and sports facilities; her coaching success included more than 564 career victories in softball. Higgins also led women’s sports NCAA compliance efforts as assistant athletics director and senior woman administrator. In her current position, she works primarily with new students to help them make the transition to college life and strive towards academic success.
“Mary was a driving force for women’s athletics at Creighton and she has continued to champion that mission throughout her career,” said Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen.
Higgins has received numerous awards, including membership in the National Softball Coaches Association 500 Victory Club, YMCA Woman of the Year in Sports in 1984, Omaha Girl Scouts Leadership Award in 1985, and 1982’s Omaha Sportcasters Association Sports Award.
She was the first woman to be elected to the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987, and she received the Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Award for creating an environment supportive for women on campus. As a student, she received the Spirit of Creighton award for her achievements and initiatives on behalf of the entire University.