In 1948, Dr. William Wasson commenced a study with funding from the Carnegie Foundation titled “A Comparative Study of Intramural Programs in Negro Colleges.” The results of his study were shared with the institutions that participated in his research. The discussion culminated in an Intramural Summit at Dillard University on February 22, 1950, where 20 intramural directors gathered—representing 11 Historically Black Colleges & Universities—and formed the National Intramural Association, now known as NIRSA.

Collegiate recreation professionals value tradition, and we believe promoting our history and values is essential to maintaining pride amongst members and continuing to grow the Association. As NIRSA approaches its 75th anniversary in 2024, it‘s important that we identify ways we can continually honor our past while looking to the future and documenting our living history.

To this end, the NIRSA History & Legacy Work Group was appointed and began their work in September of 2020. The charges for this work group are:

  1. Create the initial outline of the events and stories that need to be told as part of NIRSA’s history; propose a strategy for updating this outline through time.
  2. Collect the stories using multiple resources and methods as needed.
  3. Create an operational definition of “historically significant events and documents.”
  4. Recommend an organizational structure to ensure NIRSA’s legacy and historical values are honored, remembered, and imbued throughout the Association in an ongoing and sustainable manner.
  5. Recommend pathways for sharing NIRSA’s history (e.g. website, sessions at live events, recordings).
  6. Establish goals and implementation/strategy proposals for the 75th anniversary of NIRSA—the celebration will be kicked off at the 2024 Annual Conference and conclude at the 2025 Annual Conference.
  7. Identify a framework for receiving information from membership about items of potential historical significance and creating a repository.
  8. Recommend a preservation plan for historically significant items and documents. This plan should consider the resources necessary to store and catalogue such items.

Meet the Work Group


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Meetings and Events Director Sierra Smith.
Meetings and Events Director at | NIRSA Profile

Sierra Smith is currently the Director of Meetings & Events at NIRSA.