July 2, 2014

The Late Linda Burnes Honored As 2013-14 Ferris State Athletics "Pete Peterson Pride Award" Recipient

Note: This is the second of four major FSU Athletics Awards that will be presented this week for the 2013-14 campaign.  The remaining awards will be announced over the next few days.

Big Rapids, Mich. - One of Ferris State University's biggest "superfans" and supporters, the late Linda Burnes, has been chosen as the 2013-14 "Pete Peterson Bulldog Pride Award" recipient for her longtime loyal and devoted support of Ferris State Athletics.

Burnes, who passed away last November at the age of 64, was a generous benefactor and donator to Ferris State. The local resident was long regarded as one of the team's biggest fans and a regular at many athletic events.

"Linda Burnes will forever be remembered as one of the Bulldogs' biggest fans, but she was also an extremely important friend, supporter and financial contributor to Ferris State Athletics," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "There have been some outstanding individuals who have received this award in the past and it's a pleasure to add her name to the list based on the Bulldog pride and support she displayed over the years. 

"We'll continue to miss her presence at our games, but we're excited to honor her memory by choosing her as this year’s recipient of this award," he added.

Burnes played a key role in the advancement of the women's athletics program at Ferris State and continues to have a lasting impact thru the Linda J. Burnes Endowment. The gift will help ensure the continued success of women's sports programs at Ferris State in the years to come, creating opportunities for future female student-athletes.

A supporter of FSU women's basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball for many years, Burnes not only attended the team's contests and offered an estate gift, but also became a friend to many. She often hosted team meals and saved newspaper articles highlighting student-athletes' accomplishments. Burnes also served as a friendly face in the stands for many out-of-state players whose families could not always attend games. 

Burnes, who at one point served as an honorary coach for the Bulldog women's basketball program, is the 26th recipient of the Pete Peterson Bulldog Pride Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated loyalty and unselfish support of Bulldog Athletics. 

The Pete Peterson Bulldog Pride Award is named in honor of former Ferris State Athletics Director and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Commissioner Pete Peterson (1964-79). The award, which was founded in the 1981-82 season, was reinstated following the 2002-03 athletics season after a seven-year absence.  Coaches and athletics department staff nominate individuals to be considered which are selected from alumni, community members, university faculty or staff, and fans. A committee from the administration staff of intercollegiate athletics determined the award recipient.

Burnes, who was nominated for the honor by longtime Bulldog Volleyball head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, was one of several key contributors to Ferris State Athletics nominated this year by members of the FSU coaching and support staff.  She joins a long list of dedicated Bulldog supporters as recipients of the annual award.

Pete Peterson Bulldog Pride Award Recipients:
2013-14 - Linda Burnes (Community & Financial Supporter, Longtime "SuperFan")

2012-13 - Kevin Courtney (Blueline Club President, Community Supporter)
2011-12
 - Matt Pinter (PGM Program Coordinator)
2010-11 - Sandy Gholston (Journalist, Bulldog Athletics Blog writer)
2009-10 - Tom Kirinovic (Athletics Director, Associate AD, Assistant AD, Ice Arena Manager, Athletics Business Manager)
2008-09
 - Bob Horan III (Local Businessman, Financial Supporter, Fan, Gridron Club, Rebounders Club & Blueline Club Member)
2007-08 - Stanley Gustafson (Statistician, Hockey Season Ticket Holder, Fan)
2006-07 – Mike Wissink (Team Chaplain, Team Building Coordinator)
2005-06 – Paul Quick (Ticket Manager, Business Operations)
2004-05 – Sueann Walz (Local Businesswoman, Financial Supporter, Fan, Blueline Club Member)
2003-04 – Paul Davis (Ticket Manager)
2002-03 – Dick Hawkins (Dean, Blueline Club Member)
1995-96 – Rich Currie (Local Businessman, Bulldog Club Member, Bulldog Football's "Number One Fan")
1994-95 – Lyn Hanson (Bus Driver, Fan)
1993-94 – Judd Folske (Baseball Head Coach, Assistant to Athletics Director)
1992-93 – Dean Davenport (Athletics Director, Administrator, Coach)
1991-92 – Rachel Snyder (Associate Professor, National Anthem Singer, Athletic Advisory Committee Member & Chair)
1990-91 – Bill Scheible (Alumni Director, Bulldog Club Member, Athletics Business Manager, Assistant to Athletics Director, Ewigleben Ice Arena Manager)
1989-90 – Tom Cook (CCHA Institutional Representative, Dean of Gerholdz Institute for Lifelong Learning, Administrative Consultant)
1988-89 – Carma Burcham (Assistant Registrar For Athletic Eligibility, Bulldog Club, Blue Line Club, Fastbreak Club)
1987-88 – John Allshouse (Athletics Associates Board Member and President, Fund raising event organizer)
1986-87 – Bob Leach (Alumni Affairs Director, Assistant Vice President For Alumni and Development, Head Football Coach, Development Officer)
1985-86 – Tom Walsh (Dean, Official Timekeeper, Athletic Associates Member)
1984-85 – Bill Buckingham (Public Address Announcer, Associate Vice President For Student Services)
1982-83 – Tim Pendell (Sports Information Director)
1981-82 – Dr. Frederick Birkham (Health Center Director)

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