Pioneer for women in athletics administration dies at 84
June 16, 2004 - Lansing State Journal

EAST LANSING - Former Michigan State faculty athletics representative Gwendolyn Norrell died on Tuesday at the age of 84.

Norrell was at one time the highest-ranking woman in the history of the NCAA, when she served as vice president from 1983-85.

She joined the MSU faculty in 1945 and served two terms on the MSU Athletic Counsel prior to being promoted to faculty athletics representative in 1979. She retired from the position in 1988.

During her tenure with MSU, Norrell was recognized as a leader in creating new programs to improve academics and diversity at the university.

"Norrell was a pioneer and innovator in many areas, such as the early development of the MSU Counseling Center and the development of the Testing Center," said MSU vice president of student affairs and services Lee June.

"She was a leader in outreach efforts in the Detroit area in terms of diversity interests and played an important role in the Honors College."

Born on Nov. 12, 1919, in Eudora, Ark., she earned her bachelor of science degree in history from Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville in 1942 and her master's degree in counseling from the Teachers College at Columbia.

She is survived by her niece, Susan Cossey, and two nephews, Mark Cashion and Ward Cashion.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday at the MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel. Gifts may be directed to MSU University Development for a future scholarship fund.

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