Athletics, Sports

University of Miami hosts third annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics

Sunday featured the third annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics at the Watsco Center Fieldhouse. Former President Donna Shalala, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Coach Jill Ellis, and Miami Coaches Mark Richt and Jim Larrañaga were among over 300 guests in attendance at the sold-out event.

The event stressed the importance of supporting female student-athletes athletically, academically and once they graduate to embark on new endeavors outside of the University of Miami. All proceeds went toward the Edna C. Shalala Fund for Women’s Athletics to continue this mission.

UM women’s basketball color-analyst Megan Perry emceed the event. Senior Gracie Lachowecki, one of the most decorated soccer stars in school history, addressed the crowd as a student speaker. Other speakers included President Julio Frenk, Deputy Director of Athletics Jennifer Strawley, and women’s basketball head coach and upcoming UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee Katie Meier.

In her passionate speech, Meier stressed that there are many people investing in her team and women’s athletics, and they are transforming lives, but that the student-athletes have to “know that they are not only blessed, they are tasked to be returns on our investment in them.”

“We’re committed to transforming their lives, but they’ve gotta go out and transform others,” Meier continued. “When they leave this place, that’s what we’re all here for. They are going to go out there. They will change the world.”

The keynote speaker was Tamara James, who is the Miami women’s basketball all-time leading scorer and a 2016 UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee. James is currently mayor of her hometown, Dania Beach.

“It doesn’t matter what sport we play – athletics prepare you for life,” James told the crowd. “Things that you don’t think you’re qualified in – [athletics]will qualify you for those things.”

Eleven female student-athletes were honored at the event, including junior track-and-field star Ebony Morrison.

“I’m very honored,” Morrison said of her experience at the event.

She was also amazed that hundreds came to the luncheon.

“You hear so much about how men are doing so well in football and basketball, but it was amazing to see how many people were here to actually support women’s athletics,” she said.

Other female student-athlete honorees included women’s basketball senior captain Adrienne Motley, volleyball standout Olga Strantzali and decorated sprinter Shakima Wimbley.

“I love everything about being a student-athlete here, but most importantly, the support I get from the academic side,” Wimbley said.

One of her academic supporters is Dr. Laura Kohn-Wood, who is the chair and associate professor in the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies. Kohn-Wood is impressed with student-athletes like Wimbley in her class who are able to excel in the classroom and in their respective sports.

“Women’s athletics is amazing, but what’s even more amazing is the fact that these women work so hard because I see how they have to balance more than a full-time job with more than a full-time academic load,” Kohn-Wood said. “I’m just glad to be here to support everyone.”

The 2017 Celebration of Women’s Athletics raised over $300,000.

To donate to the Edna C. Shalala Fund for Women’s Athletics, click here.

February 16, 2017

Reporters

Chloe Harrison


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

When Al Golden recruited David Njoku to the University of Miami in 2014 the Cedar Grove, N.J. native ...

The night after FIU gave away a game to the University of Miami with a ninth-inning passed ball that ...

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Allison left the University of Miami football program on Tuesday. ...

Closer Frankie Bartow stared into the Panthers’ dugout immediately after fanning the final batter of ...

Go ahead. Try telling former University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya that his critics say he gets ...

UM marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with a reading of names and recollections of a survivor. ...

A recent paper argues that not only have researchers just scratched the surface of analyzing the Ama ...

The period of the first 100 days in office is a telling gauge for a president's full term in th ...

UM students, staff and faculty join the worldwide march to end men’s violence against women. ...

Greek Week at the University of Miami is committed to raising money and awareness for United Cerebra ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team came up short against No. 34 Duke University, 4-1, Th ...

Images from @CanesMensTennis win over Boston College. ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team were both among the ni ...

The fourth-seeded Miami women's tennis team is set to open ACC Championship play Friday afterno ...

Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku was selected with the 29th overall pick by the Cleveland Brow ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.