The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Hughes Legacy will live on

Vici Hughes speaks at the ceremony renaming the Multipurpose building to the Jerry M. Hughes Athletics Center on Feb. 17. Vici Hughes is the widow of Jerry Hughes, for whom the building was named after. (Photo by Ellie Whitesell)

Family, friends, student-athletes, and coworkers of Hughes all came to celebrate the day. Tanner Hughes, grandson to Hughes and senior at UCM, said he was happy to see how many people showed up and loved hearing about his grandfather from other people’s perspectives.

“It was great to see so many people come together for that event,” Tanner Hughes said. “Getting to hear all of his achievements and all the things he did was really spectacular.”

The induction ceremony began with a breakfast for those in attendance immediately followed by speakers President Roger Best, and current athletic director Matt Howdeshell. Both spoke on the importance of the day and of how Hughes will have a lasting impact on our school’s athletic program. 

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The sign displaying the new name for the Jerry M. Hughes Athletics Center was unveiled on Feb. 17. During the ceremony, held inside the newly named building, it became the start of the new Hughes Center. (Photo by Ellie Whitesell)

Two video tributes were also presented and showcased Hughes’ affect to those around him after his 40 years of many achievements include being awarded the 50th Anniversary Gold Award in Jan. at the NCAA DII convention in Phoenix, AZ., being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and named a Missouri Sports Legend.

Afterward, the group was led to the newly renamed Hughes Center to watch the unveiling of the Hughes Memorial Wall inside. Gabe Clark, offensive lineman for the Mules and Redshirt junior, said Hughes’ passion for our sports and his character need to be memorialized.

 “His love for every sport, Mules and Jennies, was something amazing to see and I think it needs to be cherished,” Clark said, “Doing this in remembrance of him, it speaks volumes to the person he was and the impact he had on the community.”

Howdeshell said this day has been in preparation for months after a unanimous decision from the Board of Governors that Hughes’ legacy would be commemorated in these ways. 

“It was really exciting to see the day not only be the culmination of a lot of that hard work but also to honor Jerry,” Howdeshell said. 

The day was able to showcase how much Hughes meant to the people around him. Throughout the day,Hughes was regarded as irreplaceable, excellent, dedicated and competitive. Now, his infamous drive will be able to encourage all future athletes at our school everytime they walk into the Hughes Center. 

The Memorial wall honoring Jerry Hughes at the Jerry M. Hughes Athletics Center was unveiled on Feb. 17. The wall shows key points in Jerry Hughes time at the University of Central Missouri. (Photo by Ellie Whitesell)

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About the Contributors
Ella Bland, Reporter
Ellie Whitesell, Multimedia Manager
Ellie Whitesell is a senior with a Photography major as well as the Multimedia Manager. She has been involved in journalism since high school. Now getting into the newsroom rules she is thinking about making it her life long career. She has loved taking photos since I child, it has always a hobby of mine until she realized that she could make a career of ourselves. 

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    Diana ElliottMar 19, 2024 at 2:52 pm

    I worked in the Athletic Department as a student staff member from 1983-1985. Jerry was a wonderful boss and person. I learned a lot from him about sports.
    Diana Cordova
    1985 graduate
    BS Photojournalism