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SJU Salutes Women in Sports

Soccer player Lauren Ferris ’14C celebrates her award with keynote speaker Kerri Walsh Jennings
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Celebrating the achievements of women’s athletics on campus and beyond, St. John’s University hosted the 17th Annual Women in Sports Day on February 8 at the Queens campus. The event commemorates women’s achievements in the field of sports as well as the legacy of Title IX, the landmark civil rights legislation that bars gender discrimination in any educational institution receiving federal aid.

The day included a St. John’s women’s basketball game against the Providence Friars and featured an awards dinner headlined by Olympic volleyball player and three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.

The Friars were no match for the Red Storm, which won its tenth consecutive game with an 85-65 victory. St. John’s set season highs in bench points (47), total rebounds (59), and offensive rebounds (23). SJU is currently in first place in the BIG EAST Conference with a record of 11-1 and 18-5 overall.

“Today was a great win for our team,” said Head Coach Joe Tartamella, “but it’s also a day to celebrate the success of women’s athletics University-wide.” 

Cosponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Student Government, the event also included a multisport clinic for children under 12 to showcase the options available to them in college sports.

“Women in Sports Day is an annual tradition that brings our community together in a way that allows us to meaningfully celebrate women’s accomplishments from the present and the past,” said Mary Pelkowski, associate dean for student engagement, Division of Student Affairs.

Postgame, approximately 300 students, staff, and friends gathered at the Annual Awards Dinner to hear the keynote address from Walsh Jennings. The group was welcomed by Kathryn Hutchinson, Ph.D., vice president, Division of Student Affairs, who said, “As a University and a society, when we think about women in sports, we think about empowerment: women empowering women, families empowering families, fathers, brothers, and husbands empowering women too.” 

Several female student athletes received awards for excellence. “It means a lot to be recognized by the St. John’s community for all the hard work and commitment I've put into athletics and academics over the past four years," said softball player Jackie Reed ’14C.

In her speech, Walsh Jennings shared her thoughts with the crowd on the continuing impact of Title IX. “Sports help women realize what they are made of,” said Walsh Jennings. “As beneficiaries of Title IX, all of you student athletes here today have the privilege of planting seeds of success for the next generation.” Her final remarks—“Go St. John’s and go women!”—were met with a standing ovation.