1 Jan
2021

Figure skating champion Michelle Kwan commencement speaker at Southern Vermont College

first_imgMichelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in US history (five World Championships, nine US National titles, two Olympic medals), who is also an author and US diplomatic envoy, will add doctor to her already impressive resume, when she receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Southern Vermont College’s 83rd Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 8. Kwan, a California native, will also address the graduating class as its commencement speaker. Named the nation’s first Public Diplomacy Envoy for the U.S. State Department in 2006, Kwan travels widely to speak with youth across the globe about America, its culture and values, and the life lessons learned through sports. She is currently a graduate student at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of International Affairs.For more than a decade, Kwan dominated the figure skating world, winning a record 43 titles. In the nearly 100-year history of U.S. figure skating, no American man or woman has won more world titles, national titles or Olympic medals. The author of two books, Michelle Kwan: Heart of a Champion (1997) and The Winning Attitude! (1999), Kwan’s undergraduate education and degree at the University of Denver (2008) focused on international studies, a topic she continues in her graduate work. In her current role as a Public Diplomacy Envoy, she travels throughout the world to meet and speak with young people about leadership and to engage them in dialogue on social and educational issues.“I am honored to be invited to attend and participate in Commencement Exercises at Southern Vermont College,” said Kwan. “Education has and always will be a very important part of my life. I look forward to speaking to the graduating class, sharing some of my life experiences with them and congratulating them for their own academic accomplishments and success.”“I am delighted that Michelle will address our graduates and receive an Honorary Degree,” said SVC President Karen Gross. “She is the embodiment of someone who has worked hard to pursue a dream, someone who is not afraid to fall down, get back up, and strive for excellence at each and every turn. Her personal story is compelling and inspiring for our graduates, as they enter the next chapter in their lives.”Kwan has earned numerous awards and honors including: the 2007 Billie Jean King Contribution Award and 1998 Sportswoman of the Year Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation; 2003 U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Sportswoman of the Year; the prestigious 2001 Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in America; 2002 and 2003 Kids’ Choice Award and the 2002 Teen Choice Award as America’s favorite female athlete. She has worked at both the state and national level to encourage physical fitness among youth.Michelle Kwan follows recent SVC Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients author Andre Dubus III, who wrote the novel turned film, House of Sand and Fog; Awarding winning journalist Christine Dugas; now at USA Today; and ESPN sports commentator Sean McDonough.Founded in 1926, Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing, liberal arts education with 22 academic degree programs for approximately 500 students. Southern Vermont College recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and for lives as successful leaders in their communities. SVC’s intercollegiate athletics teams are part of the New England Collegiate Conference. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.Source: Southern Vermont College. 3.25.2010###last_img read more

Read More
16 Sep
2020

‘Completely abrupt’: 2 Furman players transfer to SU after program cuts

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.On the day Cole Horan and Brett Tenaglia found out that Furman University cut its men’s lacrosse program and were thrust into the transfer portal, they were sent a Zoom link and told to join the meeting room in one hour.It was May 18, and Horan and Tenaglia had been home in Floral Park, New York and New Fairfield, Connecticut, respectively, for over two months. They were hundreds of miles from the locker room when they learned of the 2020 season’s abrupt cancellation on March 12. Hundreds of miles from where they packed equipment bags instead of boarding a flight to play Air Force. And hundreds of miles from the office where Furman head coach Richie Meade concluded the shortened year with individual exit interviews.Daily practices had been replaced by occasional Zoom calls with Navy SEALs and other guest speakers. Horan had been elected captain by the Paladins’ graduating seniors — the first unanimous selection in the program’s seven-year history. But, on that Monday in May, Furman’s 3 p.m. meeting wasn’t planned. Meade and his staff needed to break the news that their program, along with baseball, had been cut. Their options: Stay at Furman and finish their degree, or transfer to a new school with an extra year of eligibility.“In six short weeks, it turned into ‘Yes, sports are getting cut,’” said Patrick Emmer, a Furman assistant coach.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIf fall sports are canceled this year, Furman will become just one school on a growing list of colleges with cut programs. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stanford has committed to eliminating 11 teams after the 2020-21 academic year and Cincinnati immediately discontinued its men’s soccer program. North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham estimated over $52 million in lost revenue if fall sports are canceled and men’s basketball is delayed, he said on Aug. 6. Syracuse and UNC athletics are similar financially  — in 2018-19, the Orange generated about $43 million in football revenue while UNC had about $39 million during the same span, with both bringing in similar totals across their athletic departments.Despite the college-wide turmoil, Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack said on April 23 — five weeks before Horan and Tenaglia committed to the Orange — that SU has implemented cost-saving measures such as pay cuts and there had been no discussions about entirely cutting a sports program. But, as two of SU’s most recent men’s lacrosse transfers discovered, reassurances like those can be temporary.“We’ve talked about that a lot as a team, just because guys were kinda feeling vulnerable,” Horan said. “Like, ‘Wow man, is this something that we should’ve known or anything that we could’ve done?’ But no, it was completely abrupt.”Brett Tenaglia scored three goals against North Carolina and carved out a starting attack role in his first season with Furman. Courtesy of Furman AthleticsWhen Furman assistant coach Andrew Athens pulled into the parking lot on May 18, he wondered why the baseball coaches were there. The athletic department had already met earlier that day, outlining necessary financial adjustments like salary cuts and budget trimming. Still, nothing had been mentioned about a program discontinuation, Athens said a month later.He pulled his Chevy truck into a parking spot and dissected the morning’s meeting with Meade, who sat in the passenger seat. After it had concluded, the Furman athletic director phoned Meade about a second meeting in the football office at 1 p.m. Later that afternoon, the staff had scheduled a third meeting, this one with the Furman players.“A lot of people have said to me, ‘Well I’m sure you saw this coming,’” Meade said in June. “And I didn’t. I didn’t see it coming.”Two weeks before Furman’s season ended, Tenaglia had solidified his spot as one of the Paladins’ top attackmen. Horan was their top cover defender. And Meade said that, despite a 1-6 record, they were starting to make strides before conference play began. Tenaglia had earned his first start against Navy on Feb. 15, but the Midshipmen held the Paladins scoreless for three quarters in a 19-3 victory. Two of those goals, though, came from Tenaglia. He was supposed to be a building block for Furman — a recruit who slid under the radar and could push Furman past seasons of mediocrity to becoming a perennial contender. Yiwei He | Design EditorFurman coaches were hesitant to play Tenaglia too much during his freshman year, but against Utah early in the season, Tenaglia’s strong start to the game drew the Utes’ top cover guy off Furman’s top attackman and over to him. Two games later against North Carolina, he scored his first hat trick.“To perform like that, it was just a sign like you deserve to play against these teams all the time,” Tenaglia said.That same night, Horan shadowed the Tar Heels’ best attackman, his second of three-straight assignments against top 15 teams. It was the culmination of his path with Furman. He began as a freshman scout team defender who made the “good old freshman mistake” of missing an advising meeting — and had to choose between pushing a 45-pound plate 100 yards on the turf or a full-field suicide — to the sophomore who lost 20 pounds that summer, Emmer said. Published on September 1, 2020 at 11:56 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew Subscribe to the D.O. Sports NewsletterWant the latest in Syracuse sports delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the D.O. Sports newsletter to read our best sports articles, sent to you every Friday morning.* indicates requiredEmail Address *center_img But after the Paladins’ loss to Penn State on March 10, uncertainty hung as the two teams sauntered off the field. Earlier that day, Amherst became the first school to cancel the rest of its lacrosse season. The Ivy League canceled soon after, too. Two days later, all of the NCAA shut down. Furman’s extended spring break turned into online classes, which turned into coaches giving Horan, Tenaglia and their teammates through social media. During that time, the Paladins’ athletic department said cutting the program wasn’t even a thought, Emmer said, but that soon changed.Players gathered on that third Zoom call and were polled about their plans. Within 10 days, Horan and Tenaglia had committed to Syracuse. When defensive coordinator Lelan Rogers called Horan as he was traveling back with his family from Lake Placid, and when Tenaglia returned a missed call from SU head coach John Desko, they became some of the first Furman players to land with new teams.“Zero signs,” Horan said, had turned into a week filled with phone calls and recruiting pitches. It became an unwanted trip to the transfer portal.If fall sports are canceled, that might happen for more athletes, perhaps even some at Syracuse, too. Commentslast_img read more

Read More