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BUAC holds Eighth Annual “Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon” Presented by M&T Bank
February 4, 2013
VESTAL, N.Y.—Over 500 guests came to the Events Center on Monday afternoon for the eighth annual Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon presented by M&T Bank. Held each February to recognize the achievements of Binghamton University’s female student-athletes, the luncheon raises money for the Binghamton University Athletic Club’s (BUAC) Women’s Scholarship Fund.
Shannon Miller, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Gymnast, was Monday’s featured speaker. At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, she won a pair of gold medals. Four years earlier, she captured a pair of silver medals and three bronze medals at the Barcelona Olympics. In addition, Miller won three gold medals at the 1993 World Championships and two more the following year.
“It is critical to highlight and celebrate the role of athletics in a woman’s life,” Miller said during her speech on Monday. “Anyone can have an Olympian mindset of a champion even if they never reach that level of competition. You need to win the day, every day. You do that by setting goals, keeping the focus on the team and not just on yourself and keeping a positive mindset.”
Senior women’s lacrosse player Katherine Hunsberger was this year’s student speaker. A recipient of one of the aforementioned BUAC athletic scholarships, she is a three-year starting midfielder as well as a team captain this season. In the classroom, Hunsberger has been named to the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times during her career and was inducted into the National College Athlete Honor Society in 2010.
“I will always be forever grateful to Binghamton University and the lacrosse program for the opportunities that I have had here,” Hunsberger said. “I have been given all of the skills needed to succeed in the years beyond college. I will always remember my time here.”
Since 2006, the Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon has raised over $130,000 to support the BUAC Women’s Scholarship Fund. The scholarship was established in 2007, and is awarded annually to two deserving female student-athletes. The luncheon began in 2006, with just 75 attendees, and is today one of the Athletics Department’s primary fund-raisers.
“This is one of the most noteworthy events that we have on campus each year,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said. “It shows that athletic opportunities have expanded to the point where everyone is included.”
“Every year, this has been a community-driven event and has been great for women’s athletics,” Binghamton University Athletic Director Patrick Elliott said. “In the places I was at before I came here (in 2010), I had never heard of an event taking place anywhere else. It is a model for the rest of college athletics.”
NOTE: This year’s featured speaker was arranged through the support of longtime athletics sponsor and university partner, Sodexo Education Services ... other major sponsors of the event were Dr. Bai Lee, State Farm-Jim Rollo Agency and Twin River Commons.