After nearly 50 years with Athletics, director of ticketing Meredith to retire

June 25, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — William "Bud" Meredith, one of the most dedicated and beloved members of the Penn State Athletics staff for nearly 50 years, has announced he will retire on June 30, 2015.

The Nittany Lions' Director of Ticketing Operations, Meredith has had a distinguished career of 50 years working at Penn State, with 48 years in Intercollegiate Athletics, all of which included the athletic ticket operation.

Meredith has been at the forefront in helping implement the tremendous growth of ticket sales for numerous Penn State sports since 1967, most notably the seven expansions of Beaver Stadium into the nation's second-largest facility, with crowds reaching 107,000 or more on a regular basis.

"It's been a labor of love," said Meredith. "The people have been great; fun to work with. The fans, the athletes and now former players who still stop by or call... I have a lot of great memories."

"We are most appreciative to Bud for his dedication, contributions to Penn State and his role in helping Intercollegiate Athletics grow and prosper," said Sandy Barbour, director of Athletics. "Bud has been on the front lines for the myriad of changes and evolution at Penn State through the years and has consistently put customer service and helping our passionate fans in a first-class manner No. 1 in his daily interactions with Nittany Nation. Bud cares deeply about this community and the University and is a great example of someone who represents the pride, work-ethic and values that Penn Staters hold dear. We wish Bud all the best for a healthy and enjoyable retirement."

After graduating from State College High School, Meredith was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1957-60. He spent two years on the USS Orion, out of Norfolk, Virginia, during his three-year Navy stint. He graduated from Penn State with a degree in business in 1964 and began working at Penn State in 1965 as a member of the University's auditing staff.

In 1967, Meredith was named assistant business manager in Athletics, with his office in Rec Hall. He was promoted to ticket manager in 1970 and continued his duties as an accountant in the department.

Meredith has overseen the transformation of accounting of more than 40,000 football tickets by hand in the 1960s to the computerization of the ticket operation in the 1970s and buying tickets online in the 2000s. Penn State has finished in the top five of average home football attendance every year since 1991, averaging at least 100,000 fans per game in 12 of 14 seasons since the last expansion, in 2001.

When Meredith joined the Penn State staff, Beaver Stadium's capacity was 46,284. He has witnessed seven expansions to the present capacity of 106,572.

"Bud has been an inspirational mentor to me since I joined Penn State Athletics," said Jeff Garner, assistant director of Athletics, Ticketing Sales and Service. "His passion and dedication to our student-athletes, our fans and our staff is a fantastic model as we move forward into a new chapter of ticketing sales, operations and service.

"As we wish Bud a happy and healthy retirement with his wife, children and grandchildren we also look forward to his continued friendship and support," Garner added. "His passion for Penn State doesn't end with his retirement, in fact, I expect him to be one of our most frequent customers. I can't thank him enough for his guidance and leadership during my comparatively short time in Athletics."

During Meredith's first season in Athletics the Nittany Lions averaged 40,506 fans for the five home games in 1967. The first of the seven stadium expansions occurred in 1969 and Penn State's home average shot up to 49,188 as the interest in the program took off.

Prior to the 1978 season came one of Meredith's most challenging periods, as Beaver Stadium expanded by 16,000 seats (the stadium was cut into sections and lifted eight feet by hydraulic jacks) and the ticket system was computerized for the first time. There were approximately 8,400 Nittany Lion Club members in 1978, an organization that has grown to more than 22,000 in 2015.

"You couldn't do that today," Meredith said of the 1978 project, which was completed in less than one year. "It was just amazing."

Meredith has always brought a positive attitude and humor to his role despite the stresses of overseeing ticketing for some of the nation's most popular and successful teams, which have delivered 45 national championships since 1967 and 92 Big Ten titles since 1992-93.

"Every time they add a seat to Beaver Stadium I lose a hair on my head," Meredith quipped in 1994 as he and ticketing staff distributed 23,000 tickets for Penn State's victory over Oregon in the 1995 Rose Bowl to cap a 12-0 campaign.

The 1995 Rose Bowl marked the first time the ticket office used a bank of phones for bowl ticket sales, as the ticket staff set up shop in the Beaver Stadium press box. In prior years, bowl ticket applications were mailed to season ticket holders by U.S. mail, who then had to mail their application and check back or stop by the ticket office before their bowl tickets could be mailed.

The State College native has witnessed countless changes and growth in the successful ticketing operations and countless other aspects of intercollegiate athletics since 1967. Among the biggest changes has been the creation and implementation of women's sports. During his initial year working at Penn State, the first eight women's varsity sports debuted during the 1964-65 academic year, putting the Nittany Lions more than 15 years ahead of when the NCAA began sponsoring women's varsity sports.

"Ernie McCoy was a visionary," Meredith said of the former dean of the College of Physical Education and Athletic Director. "Penn State did everything they could to get the women's programs off the ground and all of those sports have done so well. Della Durant, Ellen Perry and Marty Adams were so great to work with during that time."

Meredith also was inducted as an honorary member into the Penn State chapter of the Golden Key National Honor Society in 2000.

  • Bud Meredith

    William "Bud" Meredith, a dedicated and admired member of Penn State Athletics staff for nearly 50 years, announced he will retire on June 30, 2015.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Bud Meredith

    William "Bud" Meredith, a dedicated and admired member of Penn State Athletics staff for nearly 50 years, announced he will retire on June 30, 2015.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Bud Meredith

    William "Bud" Meredith, a dedicated and admired member of Penn State Athletics staff for nearly 50 years, announced he will retire on June 30, 2015.

    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated June 25, 2015