Pacific Honors Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit Recipients: Noel Manoukian, Cindy Spiro and Jon Werner
Jan. 23, 2009
Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific department of intercollegiate athletics will honor distinguished alumni Noel Manoukian `61, football), Cindy Spiro (`76, `84, administrator and women's basketball) and Jon Werner (`70, men's tennis) at the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit Recognition Luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 24.
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit was established in 1981 by former Graduate Manager of Athletics Bob Breeden, Pacific Alumni Director Kara Brewer and Director of Athletics Elkin Isaac. The award recognizes an alumnus who participated in athletics at Pacific and who has gone on to achieve distinction in his/her life through the notable examples of integrity, dedication, idealism and team spirit that Mr. Stagg personified and to which Pacific is dedicated.
A football player and later a line coach for the freshmen football squad at Pacific from 1957-60, Manoukian was both a distinguished athlete and student. A two-time class president at Pacific (1958-59 and 1959-60), Noel graduated in the spring of 1961 with degree in both political science and philosophy. Manoukian went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara School of Law in 1964, then began a highly decorated career, first as an attorney, then as a judge in Nevada. Noel began his legal career in a partnership with his brother Milton Manoukian from 1964-73. Manoukian left the private practice in 1974 for a Nevada District Court Judge position, three years later he moved into the Nevada Supreme Court as the Chief Justice. Noel retired as the Chief Justice in 1985, choosing to return to private practice. Finally in 2003, Manoukian returned to the bench as a Nevada Senior Judge, a position he still holds.
Manoukian received a wealth of awards during his career including the Pacific Alumni Association's istinguished Alumni Award for Public Service in 1983, the Santa Clara School of Law Owens Lawyer of the Year in 1984 and the "Most Cases Settled" award from the Nevada Supreme Court Appellate Mediation Program in 1998.
A 1976 Pacific graduate in physical education, Spiro has been a pioneering female as an athlete, coach and administrator throughout her career. She was one of the initial recipients for women's athletic scholarships as captain of the first modern women's varsity basketball team in 1975, served as the first female student athletic trainer, and was the first female student athlete representative to the Athletics Advisory Board. Upon graduation, Spiro was the first female to be the Head Coach for both boy's and girl's track teams at Linden High School, winning the girl's league championships in 1977. In 1979, Spiro was appointed as the first full-time Coordinator of Women's Athletics, establishing a community donor base for women's sports and marketing Pacific women's volleyball in the Central Valley as it grew to national prominence.
Cindy stepped away from her position in 1981 to raise her family but obtained her master's degree from Pacific in 1984, chronicling the history of women's athletics at Pacific. In 1994, Spiro returned to Pacific as the Senior Woman Administrator (SWA), and in September 1996 was appointed as the Interim Athletics Director, the first female in that capacity. During that year, Pacific claimed three Big West Conference titles and oversaw the ground breaking and construction of the Pacific Aquatics Center. In July of 1997, Cindy became the Associate Director of Athletics for Operations, the first female to direct all athletic facilities and events at Pacific. She was Tournament Manager for the 1998 and 2002 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Arco Arena, brought the Promise Keepers and Chivas Soccer to Stagg Stadium, and from 1998 - 2001 was the Director of the San Francisco 49ers Summer Training Camp on the Pacific campus. In 2002, Spiro transitioned to Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Development, leading the athletics fundraising efforts as the university embarked on a $200 million capital campaign. The Athletics Campaign raised over $16 million from 2002- 2007, breaking ground on Klein Family Field, Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium, and tripling the athletic endowments. In the summer of 2008, Spiro became the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs and Resource Development at UC Davis.
Spiro has served on a variety of professional committees and community boards throughout her career, including the Stockton/San Joaquin Visitors and Convention Bureau, Stockton Sports Commission, Big West Conference Council, and NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships Committee. She is currently on the Executive Board of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and Chair of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Rules Committee.
One of 14 members of the Werner family to graduate from Pacific, Jon earned his bachelor's in history in 1970. After earning his teaching credential in 1973 from United States International University, Werner began his professional career as an educator at Meadowbrook Middle School in Poway, Calif., from 1973-78. He went on to work in the home building industry for Pacific Scene from 1979-92 and then with Kaufman and Broad from 1992-96. Jon served as the President of UDC Homes from 1996-98, then returned to Kaufman and Broad in the same role from 1998-2001. Since 2001, Jon has served as the resident of Ryland Homes. Jon has overseen the development of over 18,000 homes during his career.
Werner's other significant achievements include serving as a member of the San Diego Mayor's Housing Advisory Committee for over five years, arranging for a significant contribution to Habitat for Humanity and serving as a consultant for the Student Regional Occupational Program for Mt. Camel High School in Poway, Calif.
Pacific is proud to honor these alumni who have inspired others through their lives and work and who have continued Mr. Stagg's profound legacy for generations to come.