Alumni News

Phyllis Pharr (M.Ed. ’64) receives university teaching award

Photo of Phyllis Pharr

Phyllis Pharr

Phyllis Pharr received the 2008 Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award. As an associate professor of physical education and a women’s tennis coach at Queens University of Charlotte, Pharr was presented with the award at the spring 2008 graduation ceremonies. This prestigious award recognizes educators whose passion for teaching extends beyond the classroom. Pharr was nominated by alumni, faculty and current students of Queens. 

Pharr has taught and coached at Queens since 1964. The Hunter-Hamilton award is the third award she has received since coming to Queens. She was also chosen as the keynote speaker at the University’s opening convocation in September 2008.

As the women’s tennis coach, Pharr was the first Queens coach to take a team to the NCAA championship in 1995.  Former students commented on Pharr’s respect for her students and her motivating teaching style.

“My classes with her remain among my most cherished memories of my years at Queens,” said a student from the class of 1979. “She never made anyone feel left out or unable to accomplish the assigned task, even those of us who were shy or ungainly. Everyone always left class feeling a little bit taller, a little bit more capable than when we went in. I found myself doing things I did not believe I could do, and I did so because Ms. Pharr told me I could, and I didn’t want to let her down.”

The Hunter-Hamilton award carries a $15,000 prize that is shared by the recipient and the university program of his or her choice. Pharr allocated her winnings to providing handicap access to the University’s swimming pool.

Students who nominated Pharr remember her fondly as “a true teacher, mentor and friend,” a “lasting influence,” and as a person whose “knowledge, background and enthusiasm” gave them extraordinary confidence to succeed in school and in life.