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Hall of Fame

Athletics Hall of Fame

In February 2019, Salem Academy and College launched its Athletics Hall of Fame with a ceremony honoring six women and men — former student athletes, administrators, and friends — for their contributions to Salem’s athletic programs. Established by former Salem College Athletics Director Patricia Hughes, the Hall of Fame fulfills a long-standing goal of remembering the legacies and achievements of Salem’s athletes, coaches, and supporters.

Congratulations to our inaugural Academy honorees:

  • Laura Sides Watson A’94, C’99, former student athlete and marathon runner who has raised funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Chuck Blixt, Salem Academy parent, friend, and former trustee
  • Sarah (Sally) Colhoun Engram A’75, former Academy tennis player and coach
Laura Sides

Laura Sides Watson A’94, C’99 Inaugural Honoree

Laura Sides Watson, an accomplished student athlete at both the Academy and College, has channeled her lifelong love of sport into marathon running and raising thousands of dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Watson was a three-year letter winner in field hockey and soccer during her years at Salem Academy. She served as basketball team manager from 1992–1994 and received the Most Improved Player award for soccer in 1992 and the Most Valuable Player award in 1994. In addition, Watson received the Coach’s Award for field hockey in 1993. She was president of the Athletic Council and received the Zanne Meade Memorial Sportsmanship Award during her senior year.

Watson was recruited and played field hockey for Bucknell University but transferred to Salem College for her sophomore year. At Salem College she played three years of field hockey and soccer. During college, Watson coached JV and varsity field hockey at Salem Academy. She graduated from Salem College in 1999 with a BS degree in Spanish.

At the age of 11, Watson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. After moving to Orlando, Florida in 2001, she became involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and organized a team of teachers from the school to participate in local JDRF walks. In 2010, Watson ran her first marathon at North Carolina’s Outer Banks and after finishing was inspired to participate in future marathons with added meaning by fundraising for JDRF.

In 2011, Watson joined Team JDRF, an organization comprised of athletes who fundraise and participate in endurance events such as marathons and triathlons. To date, Watson has completed five marathons: OBX 2010, NYC 2011 and 2013, Space Coast Marathon in Florida in 2014 and Chicago in 2015. She also has completed 11 half marathons. Since 2010, Watson has raised more than $30,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Watson has served on the Salem Academy Alumnae Board, the Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees and the Triad JDRF Board of Directors.  She and her husband Mark live in Winston-Salem with their cat, Rui.


Chuck Blixt, Inaugural Honoree

Chuck Blixt has been a friend to Salem Academy and College Athletics since the early 1990s. He is the father of Allison Blixt A’96 and Katie Blixt Cody A’00. Blixt served as Chair of the Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees from 2012-2014, after serving on the Board from 2001 to 2014 and on the Board of Visitors from 1997 until 2014.

He established the Blixt Family Endowed Fund for Faculty Enhancement at Salem Academy and established the Blixt Athletic Fields, which serve as home to many of Salem Academy and College’s athletic teams. In addition, Blixt was instrumental in securing several annual grants from the R.J. Reynolds Community Involvement Plan for Salem Academy and College.

Blixt received a BS degree and a JD degree from the University of Illinois. He retired in 2006 from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, where he was executive vice president and general counsel. He and his wife Dianne live in Winston-Salem and have four grandchildren.

Sally Engram

Sarah "Sally" Colhoun Engram

Sarah ‘Sally’ Colhoun Engram was a two-sport athlete at Salem Academy during the early years of organized sports at the school. In the mid-1970s, soon after Title IX and before girls’ schools were in a conference, Salem Academy competed against other independent schools on the weekends and in invitational tournaments. Engram lettered three years in varsity tennis and two years in varsity basketball, playing most of the sports that were offered at that time. She was a member of the Salem Academy Athletic Council and the Quill Pen staff, was elected vice president of the senior class and served as a Commencement Marshal during her junior year- a significant honor based on grades and senior class recognition.

After graduation from Salem Academy in 1975, Engram attended Sweet Briar College where she played varsity tennis both her freshman and sophomore years. She was named tennis team captain during her sophomore year at Sweet Briar. In 1977, she transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she competed on the JV tennis team and later received a BA degree in political science. Engram has devoted herself to giving back to the community through volunteering with various organizations, including work with ALTA tennis in Atlanta and the USTA in Winston-Salem by serving as a coach and player.

Engram also has served in other various volunteering capacities including the Salem Academy Alumnae Board, Winston-Salem Tennis Inc./ Young Folks Tennis, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board, Meals on Wheels volunteer, Backpack Program volunteer through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Food Bank, Summer Enrichment Board, two term Vestry member at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, serving as both Junior Warden of the Vestry and Senior Warden of the Vestry and an Augustine Tutor (now READWS).

Engram came full circle in 2005 when she returned to her alma mater Salem Academy to coach the junior varsity tennis team. She also teaches a spring tennis clinic for the Salem Academy students, teaches tennis at Salem Sports Camp for Kids and has taught the Salem Community Course as a tennis instructor. She is married to Jonathan Engram, and they have two married sons, Hewitt (Caroline) and Hamilton (Kate), and three grandchildren.

Hall of Fame inductees

Visit the Hall of Fame showcase inside the Bryant Hall Athletic Center on the Salem Academy & College campus.

To learn about the Salem College honorees, please visit the Salem College’s Hall of Fame website.

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