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The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Simpson hosts the inaugural Sports Administration Symposium

Simpson+College+made+history+by+holding+the+inaugural+Sports+Administration+Symposium+last+week.
Design: Clare Veren; Photos: Abby Hintz
Simpson College made history by holding the inaugural Sports Administration Symposium last week.

Simpson College’s Sports Administration Department made history last week by hosting the first-ever Sports Administration Symposium.

The symposium included six panelists from different sports organizations, ranging from an Iowa Wild sales representative to an operations manager at Xtreme Arena. The keynote speaker of the event was the American Rivers Conference Commissioner, Marie Stroman.

Other notable appearances were made by President Jay Byers, Director of Athletics Marty Bell, and Matt Garrett, the head professor of the sports administration department. Garrett is also the faculty advisor for the Simpson College Sports Administration Club.

Garrett posted on LinkedIn, “Approximately 150 attendees representing 11 colleges and high schools, and multiple central and eastern Iowa sport businesses came to Simpson College for our inaugural student-led Sports Administration Symposium.”
As Garrett stated, the event was student-led by multiple members of the club, including, but not limited to, Club President Molly Lutmer and Club Vice President Elise Boulton.

“I thought the symposium was an awesome opportunity for students from Simpson and surrounding schools,” Boulton said. “I thought the speakers were from a variety of backgrounds and gave great insight.”

Besides planning the entire event in just a few short months, the Sports Administration Club was just reinstated at the beginning of this school year after falling off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After he [Garrett] approached me and a few other people with the idea of the club and the symposium, we thought it would be a great opportunity to get things back up and running,” Lutmer said. “Hopefully, with new officers coming in after a few of us graduate, the club will keep going, and we’ll continue to have more and more events like the symposium.”

The panelists for the event included Kyle Weeden, Senior Director of Sales for the Iowa Wild, Laura Jass, Director of Sports for Catch Des Moines, Andrew Wampler, Business Development Manager for Cyclone Sports Properties, Kayla Smith, Associate Director of the NAIA Eligibility Center, Drew Lundquist, a 2017 Simpson College alum and the Senior Operations Manager for Xtream Arena and Greenstate Family Fieldhouse, and Kiersten Schneider, the Business Operations Assistant Director for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

There was also a welcome video by Chad Buchanan, the General Manager of the Indiana Pacers basketball team.
The Symposium also included a raffle including gift cards, tickets, Simpson College merchandise, and other gifts provided by the event’s sponsors, RDG Planning and Design and Six Four One Clothing.

Future plans for the Simpson College Sports Administration program include a four-credit May Term course, SPSC-290 Sport Business, taught by Garrett, where students will partake in multiple service opportunities and take trips to visit different locations around the midwest including Kauffman Stadium to watch the Kansas City Royals, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Creighton University, Girls Inc. Omaha, Musco Lighting, Knoxville Raceway and other local places in Des Moines and Indianola.

The department will also be sending students to St. Louis in November to take part in the Sports Marketing Association’s case study competition and conference.

The symposium was a great start to Simpson College having a strong Sports Administration program.

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