Kermit Holland and wife, Nancy, unveil the sign showing the newly named Kermit Holland VIP Suite at Bethel's Wildcat Football Stadium as children, Jill, Ann and Jack and Mike Parker, Bethel Director of Development, look on.
Bethel University has named the VIP suite at Wildcat Football Stadium in honor of former student and longtime Bethel supporter Kermit Holland of McKenzie, according to President Bob Prosser.
A dedication and dinner were held to honor Holland on Thursday evening, Aug. 26, during pregame festivities for the Wildcats' 2010 season opener against St. Xavier University.
"Kermit was a key member of the Wildcat Football program in the early 1930s," said Prosser. "But his legacy has moved past his playing days at Bethel. I can truly think of few people who have given so much of their time and themselves to ensure the success of Bethel athletics. Kermit truly has had a profound effect on Bethel's history for more than 70 years. We are so pleased to be able to honor him in this way."
Holland was part of the Bethel football team that won three straight Mississippi Valley Conference championships in 1932, 1933 and 1934. Since that time, he has remained faithful to Bethel having served as a baseball coach for a number of years. He has been seen at most every Wildcat sporting event through the decades, and prior to the construction of Wildcat Stadium, Holland fertilized and tended to the football practice field on campus so players would have an optimum practice experience. In 1980, Holland was inducted into the Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame.
In a feature article that ran in the fall 2006 issue of Bethel's Captions Magazine, Holland was quoted as saying, "Bethel has meant a lot to my life - I enjoy watching these young men play."
Members of Holland's family were on hand for the naming and dedication including his wife, Nancy, and his children Jack, Jill and Ann.
"Our family is extremely grateful to Bethel for the distinct honor of naming the Kermit Holland Wildcat VIP Suite," said daughter, Jill. "We are appreciative of the recognition given to him."
Holland was also recognized on the field during halftime activities and was presented a framed print entitled, "Then Came Morning."
Mementos of Holland's time at Bethel will now be displayed in the VIP suite.