In 1950, on the campus of Dillard University, Dr. William Wasson a Physical Education Professor convened a meeting of 22 African-American men and women. The attendees were Intramural Directors from eleven Historically Black Colleges. This meeting sparked the first National Intramural Association (NIA) Conference. Dr. William Wasson organized and hosted that first meeting and then served as NIA president for the first five years.
In 1975, the NIA membership voted to change the name to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). Today, NIRSA is a non-profit, membership organization serving a Network of over 4,000 highly trained professional, student, and associate members in the collegiate recreation field throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond. As college and university students develop into future leaders, NIRSA members support their learning and growth by fostering lifelong habits of wellbeing.
NIRSA members value recreation because active lifestyles are fundamental to communities of wellbeing. Serving an estimated 7.7 million students who regularly participated in campus recreation programs, NIRSA members are actively engaged in many areas of campus life; student leadership development, personnel management, wellness and fitness programs, intramural sports, sports clubs, recreation facility operations, outdoor recreation; informal recreation, aquatic programs, and more.
Sixty three years after the first NIA Conference, Mr. Peter Stevenson, Director of Recreation, Health and Wellness at Dillard University had the opportunity to present at the National NIRSA Conference in Las Vegas, NV. His topic was “Million Dollar Programing on a Shoe String Budget: HBCU Style.” His presentation focused on creative solutions when faced with limited resources and funding. He shared creative methods when engaging students in collegiate recreation and wellness programs. In addition, he provided collaborate ideas on how to work with other colleges/universities, outside agencies, and local corporate sponsors.