Golf icon Renee Powell opens student halls in her name

Renee Powell 1

Renee Powell this week unveiled a plaque to celebrate the opening of a new student hall of residence in St Andrews named in her honour.

Powell Hall, a five-storey building adjacent to Agnes Blackadder Hall at North Haugh, has 205 rooms and is part of a £70m investment in student accommodation by the university which will create 900 new bedrooms over and above the 4,000 that the university already provides.

Powell was the second African American woman ever to play on the LPGA She began her professional career in 1967, playing in more than 250 tournaments around the world, and, since 1980, she has taught golf in the United States, Africa and Europe. She is currently the head professional at Clearview Golf Course in Ohio.

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She is also known for her work to attract more young female golfers to the sport and, in 2008, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university. She has also given a guest lecture about the ways sport can positively impact young people’s lives and supports the annual ladies’ golf tournament that now bears her name.

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“To be a part of one of the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom by having a hall of residence bearing my name is indeed an honour,” said Powell. “It is a truly historic and awesome occasion for a renowned university to recognise a black American female golfer in this manner.

“I have always considered myself to be a citizen of the world and I guess now I will forever be remembered as such. I am truly humbled.”

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Principal professor Sally Mapstone added: “Renee Powell Hall offers us a wonderful opportunity to share the story of an exceptional woman and I am utterly delighted Renee is here for this celebration.

“Renee is an icon. Her story, her demeanour, her enthusiasm, and generosity of spirit uplift everyone who encounters them, and the university is proud to name this new student hall of residence after her.”

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