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Evie Garrett Dennis

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Information about Evie Garrett Dennis

Profile image of Evie Garrett Dennis

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
City Education Administrator
Olympics Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Turkey
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/8/1924
Birth Location:
Farmhaven, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
City Education Administrator
Olympics Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Turkey
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/8/1924
Birth Location:
Farmhaven
See how Evie Garrett Dennis is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Evie Garrett Dennis was born on September 8, 1924, in Farmhaven, Mississippi, to Ola and Eugene Garrett. She graduated from Cameron Street High School and received her B.S. degree from St. Louis University in 1953.

Dennis came to Denver, Colorado, as a researcher for the Children’s Asthma Research Institute and The Jewish National Home for Asthmatic Children. In 1966, she began her career in public education as a teacher. Dennis was instrumental in convening the first ever convention of The Athletics Congress (now USA Track & Field) in 1980. Since 1983, Dennis has chaired the El Pomar Foundation Awards for Excellence Commission, which recognizes and rewards Colorado nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals that serve their communities with distinction and excellence. She was the Chef de Mission for the United States Olympic Committee for two Pan American Games as well as the 1988 Olympic Games, a first for a woman in Olympics' history. Dennis was one of the first two women to reach the U.S. Olympic Executive Committee and the first to serve as Vice President of the U.S. Olympic Committee. She has chaired its Women’s Committee and Diversity Committee and remains a member of the Governing Bodies Council. She has been a staunch advocate and spokesperson for Title IX, ensuring equal access to sports for young women. Dennis served as Deputy Superintendent of the Denver Public School System from 1988 through 1990 and the District Superintendent from 1990 to 1994. She was the first woman and the first African American to head the 60,000-student district. Dennis was charged with implementing and monitoring the U.S. District Court order to desegregate Denver Public Schools. Through her dedication to improve and ensure equal educational opportunities for all students and to work with the community through the difficult issues presented by the court’s order, Dennis successfully guided the school system through a complicated and divisive period to create positive alliances between the school district, parents, students, teachers, patrons, and community leaders. She designed and implemented innovative programs to meet the needs of the district’s diverse population, including the Education Advisory Councils; the Denver Energy, Engineering and Education Program (DEEEP); and the American Israel Student Exchange Program. Dennis officially retired from the Denver Public School System in 1994.

Dennis was honored as an inductee to the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame in 1997. In 1999, she was named Laureate of the Association of National Olympic Committees. In addition, Dennis was inducted into the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evie Garrett Dennis' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evie Garrett Dennis lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her mother and her likeness to her
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her father and her likeness to him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evie Garrett Dennis lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her childhood community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her home in Farmhaven, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about her brother, Robert Garrett
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls her family's move to Canton, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about the Church of God
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers Cameron Street High School in Canton, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her family's holiday traditions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her siblings' occupations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about her undergraduate education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls her decision to move to Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers working at the Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls teaching at Lake Junior High School in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers her recruitment as an administrator of the Denver Public Schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her role in the desegregation of the Denver Public Schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes the results of desegregation busing in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers the violence during the desegregation of the Denver Public Schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes the segregated schools in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers joining the Amateur Athletic Union
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls becoming an officer of the Amateur Athletic Union
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers serving on the U.S. Olympic Committee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls her experiences at the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers representing the USA Track and Field team
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her graduate education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers receiving the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about steroid testing on the USA Track and Field team
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls her interactions with Cuban President Fidel Castro
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Evie Garrett Dennis reflects upon her experiences of sexual harassment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her efforts to diversify the U.S. Olympic Committee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls serving as the superintendent of the Denver Public Schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her achievements in the Denver Public Schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls working with Omar Blair
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evie Garrett Dennis talks about her retirement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her daughter and grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls her trip to Russia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her experiences abroad, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her experiences abroad, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Evie Garrett Dennis recalls the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Evie Garrett Dennis remembers the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her advocacy for athletic and art education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Evie Garrett Dennis reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Evie Garrett Dennis shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Evie Garrett Dennis reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Evie Garrett Dennis describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Evie Garrett Dennis narrates her photographs