Sport

Faculty Athletics Representative

Years Played

1966-78

Year Inducted

2001

One of the most influential men in the history of the North Central Conference and North Dakota State University athletics, Walsh played a major role in the development of both organizations over a 12-year span.

Dr. Walsh served as the faculty athletics representative for NDSU from 1966 to 1978. During that time, he was responsible for the move of the NCC office from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, S.D., and was responsible for the hiring of Bison Hall of Fame member Ade Sponberg as Director of Athletics at NDSU. He was a moving force in the building and expansion of women's athletics in the conference and at NDSU.

Dr. Walsh was inducted into the North Central Conference Hall of Fame in 1976. He served as the acting Director of Athletics between the resignation of Ron Erhardt and the hiring of Sponberg.

But Walsh was more to the university than athletics. He served for 24 years as the chairman of the speech and theatre department at NDSU. Departmental evolution and expansion, including the construction of Askanase Hall, marked the years of his leadership.

Across the region, Walsh brought theater to the people. He selected the sites for the Burning Hills Amphitheater at Medora and the Custer Memorial Theatre in Mandan, both in North Dakota. He directed more than 25 plays, wrote three plays, developed a graduate program in theatre, and inaugrated the Prairie Stage Company, an NDSU traveling tent summer theatre that captured the imagination of North Dakotans.

He toured the world for the U.S. State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, lecturing on outdoor drama. He won the prestigious Faculty Lectureship Award and was the recipient of the Blue Key Doctor of Service Award.

A native of New Bedford, Mass., he graduated from North Carolina State, earned a master's degree from North Carolina, and achieved a doctorate from Western Reserve.

A Navy veteran, he earned a Bronze Star for heroism while leading the D-Day assault on Normandy's Utah Beach. He taught at Ohio University and Bowling Green State University and directed the Karamu House in Cleveland, a renowned black theater. He died in 1999 at the age of 83. His wife, Marrion, lives in Moorhead and he has two sons and five grandchildren.