Redbird Seniors Honored At Annual Banquet
April 25, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The annual ISU Credit Union Senior Student-Athlete Banquet serves as the culmination for Illinois State senior student-athletes, as each senior receives his or her completed medallion after being handed the first half at the Walk of Champions as a freshman. The 2013 Redbird senior class was honored Wednesday, April 24, in Redbird Arena to recognize all the accomplishments and accolades the class has achieved during its time at Illinois State.
As a group, the 72 seniors have helped lead their teams to more than 650 victories, eight regular-season conference championships, nine conference tournament championships and 16 postseason appearances. In addition, the seniors have tallied eight conference players of the year awards, 39 individual conference championships, 66 first-team all-conference selections, 12 All-American honors, two NCAA national runner-up finishes and Tim Glover is a two-time NCAA National Champion in the javelin.
This group has also been busy in the classroom and community. During their tenure, Redbird Athletics has experienced exceptional academic success and over the last nine semesters, more than 60 percent of the class has appeared on the AFNI Athletics Honor Roll during each semester. This class posted a 3.07 cumulative grade-point average (GPA), which helped the athletic department as a whole set a new grade-point average record with a 3.15 GPA in both the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters. The group also contributed and helped the department complete more than 2,000 community service hours in each of the last four school years.
The football and men's basketball radio voice of the Redbirds, Dick Luedke, served as the emcee for the event. Illinois State Director of Athletics Gary Friedman also spoke to the seniors, their coaches, families and friends and thanked them for all their hard work, dedication and commitment to Redbird Athletics. Senior men's basketball player Jackie Carmichael was chosen to speak and give a moment of reflection on his time in a Redbird uniform, before dinner was served.
After dinner concluded, senior women's golfer and back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference championship medalist Katie Jean was presented the Laurie Mabry Award. The honor is given to a female student athlete who exemplifies the positive values and attitudes that can be learned through athletics and is a person who appreciates the opportunity she has received through participation in the athletic program. The award is named after Mabry, who helped Illinois State's women's sports become a major national program as director of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics from 1960-80.
ISU Credit Union President and CEO Thom Ewen, a 1990 Illinois State graduate, then spoke to the seniors and offered his congratulations for their successes on and off the field. Former Redbird volleyball star and 2001 ISU graduate Kendra Haselhorst-Bull then took the stage representing the RB4L club, stressing the importance of staying connected to the athletics program after graduation and supporting the university.
Illinois State University President Dr. Al Bowman followed and wished all of the seniors well in their future endeavors and talked about how much he enjoyed watching them compete in his time as president. That led to the presentation of the senior plaques, as each senior was called to the stage to receive their finished medallion affixed to a plaque noting all of their accomplishments as Redbird student-athletes.
All-American thrower Brittany Smith closed out the night with a message for the senior class and men's tennis standout Alexander Pelaez videotaped a message for those in attendance, because he and his teammates were on the road preparing for the 2013 MVC Tennis Championship.
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