Four of Pensacola State’s most-accomplished Pirates will make up the Pensacola State College’s 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame class.
The honorees are Sen. Doug Broxson, president of the College’s first booster club; Catherine “Miss G” Gifford, a 50-year PSC employee who served as a student-athlete tutor for more than 30 years; Gerald McArthur, official scorer for the PSC basketball teams for 32 years and a charter member of the first booster club; and Mark Whiten, a Pirates baseball standout who was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 1986 Major League Baseball draft.
The class will be inducted during a 7 p.m. ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 9, in the Lou Ross Center’s Hartsell Arena, Building 3, on the Pensacola campus.
The Hall of Fame induction will coincide with the 2021 Pirate Experience where fans can tour the renovated athletic facilities and meet the 2021-2022 Pirates baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross-country, softball and volleyball coaches and players.
Chad Brillante with ESPN Pensacola will serve as emcee for the induction ceremony. Heavy appetizers from Bubba’s 33 will be served. The Lou Ross Center’s doors open at 6 p.m.
Hall of Fame inductees are selected from student-athletes, fans, advisers, coaches, directors, administrators, contest officials, media personnel, sports medicine personnel, athletic trainers or distinguished volunteers who exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, moral character and ethical conduct.
Fifteen inductees are currently in the PSC Athletics Hall of Fame.
The 2021 inductees
● Broxson, a Pensacola native, represents District 1 in the Florida Senate. He previously served in the Florida House of Representatives for District 3 from 2012 to 2016.
In 2017, Broxson was named the Legislator of the Year for Children, and in 2018, he was selected the Legislator of the Year for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Over his legislative career, Broxson was instrumental in working with the College and the Florida Department of Transportation to enhance the main entryway into the Milton campus.
He also has been supportive in funding critical needs at the College including the remainder of funds for new construction to replace the Baars Science Building.
Broxson earned an associate degree from Pensacola Junior College and his bachelor’s degree from Evangel University where he played baseball.
● Gifford began her career at PJC in 1968 as an English Composition, Honors English and Development English instructor. She also worked in the College’s Writing Lab.
For more than 30 years, she served as the English and Writing tutor for the Athletics Department – assisting countless student-athletes.
Also, Gifford co-authored two English workbooks, served as a proofreader for two PJC televised English textbooks, and for many years was the proofreader for the College’s media guide.
She was awarded the 1990 Golden Apple “Teacher of the Year” Award and was inducted in the College’s Academy of Teaching Excellence in 1991.
Raised in Greenville, Alabama, Gifford graduated with honors from Auburn University in 1954. Before coming to Pensacola State, she was a teacher at Pensacola High School from 1954-1958.
● McArthur is a 1955 Pensacola Junior College graduate and went on to Florida State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1957.
A veteran, McArthur served in the U.S. Army and later in the Governor’s Office under the Honorable Faris Bryant. He remains an active member of the PSC Athletics Booster Club.
Also, McArthur formed the Association of Monsanto-Solutia Retirees Inc. and served as chairman for 15 years. In 2019, he and other retirees established the PSC Monsanto-Solutia Retirees Endowed Scholarship for the children and relatives of Monsanto and Solutia employees.
Active in the community, he has worked with the United Way of Pensacola, Monsanto Credit Union, United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Florida and the Bill Bond Youth Baseball League.
McArthur is a 1953 graduate of Pensacola High School.
● Whiten is a Pensacola native and a 1984 Pensacola High School and Pensacola State College graduate.
Whiten was a standout baseball player during the 1984-1985 and 1985-1986 seasons. He was a fifth-round pick for the Toronto Blue Jay in the 1986 Major League Baseball Draft.
Whiten made his MLB debut on July 12, 1990, and played 11 years in the Major Leagues on eight different teams – the Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees.
He was twice named the National League’s Player of the Week and twice led Major League Baseball in “right fielder” putouts – once in the American League and once in the National League.
On Sept. 7, 1993, Whiten had four home runs, 12 RBIs while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in a single game against the Cincinnati Reds. He is one of only 18 MLB players to accomplish this feat.
Since retiring, Whiten has coached baseball at Middleton High School in Tampa and has volunteered for eight years for the North Seminole Little League.
For more information, contact Sheila Nichols, the College’s executive director of marketing and information, at (850) 484-1428 or email@example.com.