BSC Office of Communications

News from the Hilltop

Jan. 24, 2012

Philanthropist and innovative businessman Larry D. Striplin Jr. '52 passes away

Larry D. Striplin Jr. '52BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern graduate, trustee, prominent businessman, and philanthropist Larry D. Striplin Jr. ’52 died Jan. 23 at a local hospital. He was 82.

Striplin gave a lifetime of service and support to BSC. Among his philanthropic contributions, he established the Striplin Physical Fitness and Recreation Center, Striplin Baseball Complex, and Larry D. Striplin III Scholarship Fund on campus.

Visitation will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, 2150 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 518 19th Street North. Burial will be at 4 p.m. that day at Live Oak Cemetery, 300 Dallas Avenue, in Selma, following a brief graveside service.

Joe Dean Jr., BSC athletics director, said, “One of Larry’s lifelong passions was Birmingham-Southern College. It was his school, he played basketball here, and he spent his entire life making contributions in so many ways to help the college. He was maybe BSC’s best ambassador. He was a friend and mentor to me, and I will miss him greatly.”

Striplin will always be regarded as one of the college’s greatest student-athletes. He competed on Birmingham-Southern’s swimming and diving, men’s basketball, and baseball teams during his undergraduate years. He established Belmont University’s first men’s basketball team in 1952 and served in that capacity for four years, along with coaching baseball and serving as Belmont’s first athletics director. Belmont’s Striplin Gymnasium was named in his honor, along with its Striplin-Wiseman Athletic Office Complex.

Born Nov. 11, 1929, in Selma, Striplin attended Spring Hill College in Mobile for two years and graduated from Birmingham-Southern with a degree in education. He continued his education at George Peabody College (now Vanderbilt) in Nashville where he earned his master’s degree in education. He was the CEO of Nelson-Brantley Glass Co. and Circle “S” Industries and was instrumental in establishing the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, serving for 13 years as chair and a total of 23 years on the hall’s board. Striplin was the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame’s 1998 Distinguished American Sportsman and was inducted into the 2007 Class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in Montgomery.

He received Birmingham-Southern’s 2003 Bob Strain Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contribution to athletics during his career on the Hilltop and was inducted into the BSC Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Striplin also founded the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete scholarship program in 1986. Almost $10 million has been distributed to more than 2,200 senior student-athletes since the program’s inception.

Additionally, he was committed to public service and was a member of numerous civic and philanthropic boards, including the BSC Board of Trustees. He leaves behind his wife, Rhonda; four children; and nine grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Striplin’s name to Birmingham-Southern through the Office of Institutional Advancement, 900 Arkadelphia Rd., Birmingham, AL 35254; to the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program, P.O. Box 10163, Birmingham, AL 35202; or to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, 2150 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL.

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