Berea Names Gym After Dr. Joy Hager

Dedication of the Dr. Joy Hager Gymnasium, recognizing 49 years of service.The Dr. Joy Hager Gymnasium will be dedicated at a naming ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 1, to memorialize her commitment and leadership during her 49 years of service to Berea College. The ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Upper Gym at the Seabury Center on Berea’s campus.

Dr. Hager was a professor of Physical Education, chair of the Physical Education and Health Department, and Athletic Director. She taught basketball, field hockey, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and golf and coached women’s basketball and field hockey during her tenure. She also was a leading defender of gender equality, working for women’s full participation in a broad range of sports at all levels. She provided leadership in organizing women’s sports in Kentucky, serving on boards and holding key offices in the state Women’s Intercollegiate Conference, putting women’s sports on the path to prominence and success.  She was recognized nationally with the Pathfinders Award from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports, which honors a person from each state for being a strong, continuous advocate for the advancement of women’s athletics.

The dedication ceremony is being organized by the Berea College alumni relations office. A group of alumnae are funding a scholarship in Dr. Hager’s name as well. Calling themselves the “Woods-Penn Gang” in reference to the Woods Penniman building which housed the women’s athletics program for much of Hager’s tenure, the group established the scholarship in recognition of Dr. Hager’s profound influence on their lives at Berea and beyond.

The Joy Hager Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating female student majoring in Physical Education or a member of a sports team Dr. Hager coached. Criteria for scholarship recipients includes having a minimum grade point average of 3.5/4.0) and a demonstrated commitment to the Psychical Education Department or the sport(s) in which they participate.

For more information about the dedication ceremony and the scholarship, contact the Berea College alumni office at 859-985-3104 or

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: alumni, athletics, Dr. Joy Hager, Health and Human Performance Department, Seabury Center

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.