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College president fulfills big leadership role in Little League Baseball

Davie Jane Gilmour has served in several high-level roles for Little League Baseball and remains a member of the board. Larry Kauffman / Pennsylvania College of Technology

When Little League Baseball searched for a new member to join its international board of directors in 2006, it didn’t have to look far.

Davie Jane Gilmour, the president of Penn College — located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the home of the Little League World Series — received the call. Gilmour, who is in her 20th year of leadership at the campus known as one of the leading colleges for applied technology education, was surprised by the offer but excited to accept.

“They were looking for someone with expertise in education,” Gilmour says. “They try to diversify the composition of their members, and I was willing to do that.”

In 2008, she was named chair-elect of the board, and served in that role for four years before starting a five-year stint as chair. She can remain a member of the board for 12 more years.

Her most cherished part of the role? Handing out medals to the players as their tournament comes to an end. “Those are the days that go down as some of my most favorite,” Gilmour says. “Being around the players has always been the most moving thing for me.”

Another task sometimes assigned to the chair is throwing out the first pitch before a game.

While she began loving baseball at a young age when her father would drive them from their home near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore for Orioles games, she was more of a field hockey player in her youth, where having a strong throwing arm isn’t a requirement. So, sometimes her throws didn’t hit the intended target.

“Once, I threw a first pitch before a Little League game, and it was terrible,” Gilmour says.“The little guy came up to me to give me the ball, and he said, ‘Don’t worry, you can’t always throw a strike.’ That always resonates with me. He was so kind, and that was his way of trying to make me feel better about it.”

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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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