WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University alumnus Donald A. Padden, ’45, left his mark at Kendall Green after four decades of service as a faculty member in the physical education department and several years as men’s basketball head coach. Padden has been a long-lasting contributor to his alma mater for more than seven decades and now, in addition to leaving his mark, he has left his signature for all to remember.
The Field House gymnasium floor will now be known as “Padden Court” in honor of Donald A. Padden. A new logo with his signature was unveiled to Padden and his family on July 11 in a private ceremony in the Field House.
"Without any doubt, Donald Padden deserves this honor to be recognized and have his name on the gym floor," said Gallaudet Athletic Director Michael Weinstock.
The logos are on two different parts of the Field House gymnasium floor, where the Bison men’s and women’s basketball teams along with women’s volleyball play their respective games.
The Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) put forth a Naming and Recognition request nomination, with an endorsement from the Gallaudet Athletics Department, to name the Field House court after Padden this past spring.
Padden has a long list of accomplishments while being a student, faculty member and alumnus. He has been a constant supporter of the University for over seven decades. Padden served from 1945-87 as a faculty member in the physical education department where he worked under five different Gallaudet Presidents. During two different spans he served as Gallaudet’s men’s basketball coach (1945-49, 1951-55). He helped to grow the intramurals department from its infancy. He was a member of the design team for the Gallaudet Field House, which was erected in 1981.
Padden served on the GUAA Board as its treasurer from 1982-89. He has established scholarships for students and chaired the 100th anniversary reunion of the GUAA in 1989. Padden was inducted into the Gallaudet Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995. Padden and his wife, Agnes, co-edited the Mileposts in the Gallaudet Alumni newsletter for 28 years.
He is the last living member of the "Five Iron Men" the last Gallaudet men’s basketball team to win a conference championship (1943 Mason Dixon). He graduated in 1945 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education. He was treasurer of an athletic fund, now known as the Charles R. Ely, G-1892/Donald A. Padden, ’45, Athletic Endowment Fund, for many decades.
Padden continues to be a strong supporter of Gallaudet University and the athletics teams. He still makes trips to see the Bison play several times throughout the year.
Padden is married to Agnes (Minor) Padden, ’47, and they have two children in Robert Padden, ’72, and Carol Padden, a former Gallaudet Board of Trustees member, along with three grandchildren in Kami Padden,’09, Jacy Humphries and Keziah Padden. Robert is married to Melinda (Chapel) Padden, ’74, while Carol is married to Dr. Tom Humphries, ’68 & G-‘72, who is a current Gallaudet Board of Trustees member. Kami is married to Dina Rae Padden, ’98 & G-’06.
An official ceremony to commemorate the new naming of Padden Court will take place later this fall.