Huskies' Athletics to Celebrate National Student-Athlete Day and Division III Week

USM Athletics and the Fan Experience Committee will celebrate the nearly 500 USM student-athletes and their achievements April 6-12
USM Athletics and the Fan Experience Committee will celebrate the nearly 500 USM student-athletes and their achievements April 6-12
GORHAM, Maine  – During the week of April 6 – 12, the University of Southern Maine Department of Athletics in collaboration with the Fan Experience Committee, which includes representatives from Student Life, Athletics and ARAMARK, will celebrate Division III week.   The NCAA’s Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. 

 

Kicking off the week, the Department of Athletics and the Fan Experience Committee will host a special luncheon to recognize the contributions of student-athletes to the campus experience on Monday, April 6 (11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.) in the Brooks Student Center as part of the celebration of the 28th Annual National Student-Athlete Day.  Created by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, National Student-Athlete Day, annually celebrated on April 6th, will be the first day of Division III Week.  This day is a chance to honor the excellence exhibited by USM student-athletes in the classroom and in their chosen sport, as well as their significant contributions to the community – on and off campus.  

Hosted by the Fan Experience Committee the luncheon will feature an incredible menu for showcasing our healthy for life color-coding program, “Eat to Compete” – a component of the new Full Potential Program. Chris Kinney, a member of the Huskies’ Full Potential Advisory Committee and the Director of Aramark, has put together this special luncheon.  This festive event will include great food and prizes for those in attendance.  For more information on the Huskies’ Full Potential program, visit: Huskies’ Full Potential.

“We are very excited to celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions made by our student-athletes to the USM community and the greater community that we serve and support,” said long-time USM Director of Athletics Al Bean.  “National Student-Athlete Day and Division III Week provides us with a public forum to recognize their outstanding work and achievements. I want to thank the Fan Experience Committee, Student and University Life, ARAMARK and all of the faculty and staff who work to support our student-athletes in the classroom, in competition and in the community.  We are very proud of the difference that our student-athletes make every single day.”

During the evening of Monday, April 6, USM Athletics will also host Daryl Fort of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) at 5:00 p.m.  Fort will be presenting an hour-long forum on Leadership & Athletics. Fort and USM Athletics have a long-standing partnership and he has been a member of the Huskies' Full Potential initiative's pilot program.  

On Wednesday, April 8, Huskies’ Athletics will host a Pancake Breakfast from 7:30-9:30 a.m. in appreciation of the nearly 500 student-athletes who comprise the Huskies’ 22 intercollegiate athletic programs.  Members of the Athletics’ Department will rise bright and early to start prepping this annual breakfast treat hosted in the Alumni Reception Center of the Costello Sports Complex. 

On Friday, April 10, Huskies’ Athletics will host its annual Career Skills presentation, led by Assistant Director of Athletics Meredith Bickford and special guest Greg Fall of Core Choices Consulting. Held multiple times during the school year, Bickford’s Career Skills program assists students in their job search and discovering their career paths.

“These presentations are tremendous opportunities for our students to network and develop essential skills as they progress into their professional careers,” said Bickford. “They will have opportunities to develop their presentation, networking and interview skills as well as make connections for possible internships and job shadowing opportunities.”

On Saturday, April 12, incoming University of Southern Maine President Harvey Kesselman and his wife Lynne will host a brief reception at the president’s house beginning at 9:00 a.m. Representatives from the Huskies’ 22 intercollegiate teams will be in attendance and will have a chance to speak with the President.

With nearly 500 students competing as members of the Huskies’ NCAA Division III teams, Southern Maine student-athletes boast a collective cumulative grade point average of 2.86, and this Fall, 182 USM student-athletes achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. 

With academic success paramount to the mission of Huskies’ Athletics, a record number of student-athletes, 148, were awarded with the William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete distinction. To earn William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete accolades, a Southern Maine student must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative grade average for the fall and spring semesters, be a full-time student both semesters and be a member of varsity team for a full season.

Active in the community, USM’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a student-led organization that is comprised of Southern Maine’s 22 intercollegiate teams, was recognized by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) with the Josten’s Community Service Award.  USM’s SAAC and its student-athletes are on the receiving end of this national honor for the 10th time in program history.  This year, the Huskies were recognized for their efforts in the On-Going Projects category for its long-standing tradition of hosting the annual Husky Halloween Community Party.

“Our student-athletes commit themselves to an array of community centric activities throughout the year,” said Bickford.  “Each activity not only resonates positively within our USM community and the greater population, but it also affects our athletes positively as they can see first hand the value of community service. Each of our 22 intercollegiate teams participates in some form in the development of the Community Halloween Party. It is a tremendous event that takes a great deal of coordination and cooperation, and our student-athletes have a great time planning, organizing and finally enjoying the event.”

Along with its ongoing traditional events, USM Athletics and its student-athletes have also participated in numerous other community-oriented events and service projects throughout the academic year.  This year, in addition to one-time events such as Holiday Caroling with area nursing homes and the Husky Halloween Party, members of the SAAC have been serving as mentors to elementary-aged children at the Great Falls school.  This is the second year that USM students have worked with children at the school.  The participating students spend 90 minutes each week doing a variety of activities with their “buddy” including, reading, writing, arithmetic and physical education while serving as positive role models.   Initiated in the Fall, the Huskies’ mentoring program has continued throughout the academic semester. 

Eighty-four student-athletes are also participating as members of the Husky Pen Pal program. Under the supervision of Bickford and Becky Fortier, Assistant Principal at Great Falls Elementary School, USM student-athletes are exchanging biweekly letters with third graders throughout the academic year. This initiative has a minimum goal of five letters sent during the Fall semester and another five during the Spring semester.  After the final letter is exchanged, USM student-athletes will host a “Meet and Greet” with their pen pals in which the third graders will take a field trip to the Gorham campus and have lunch with the student-athletes and tour the campus.  It is the athletic department’s goal to create a Husky Pen Pal program with Village and Narragansett third graders, as well as Great Falls, in the Fall of 2015. 

Husky student-athletes and SAAC have hosted numerous other events throughout the academic year including various “Think Pink” Day celebrations: an ongoing annual event, several USM teams participate in fundraising activities to benefit cancer research through the American Cancer Society. This year, the USM women’s basketball team participated in the ACS’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk for the eighth consecutive season, while the field hockey, volleyball, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, women’s ice hockey, and men’s and women’s basketball each hosted “Think Pink” celebrations during their seasons as fundraisers for the American Cancer Society.

Most recently, members of the Huskies’ baseball team spent the day with children at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine.  Team members played various games with the children and shared their experiences as intercollegiate student-athletes and answered questions about their back-to-back trips to the NCAA Division III World Series. 

Along with the various activities planned, many of the USM spring sport teams will be in action at home during the Division III Week.  On Wednesday (3:30 p.m.) Huskies’ men’s lacrosse will host local rival St. Joseph’s College (Maine) at Hannaford Field, while the Huskies’ softball team is slated to host Bowdoin College in a non-conference double header at 3:30 p.m.

On Thursday (3:00 p.m.), USM softball is schedule to host the University of New England in another non-conference doubleheader.  On Friday (3:30 p.m.), Huskies’ baseball will host Bowdoin in a non-conference game.

On Saturday, baseball, men’s lacrosse and softball are all scheduled to play at home.  Baseball will host Rhode Island College in a Little East Conference doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. Softball will host UMass Dartmouth in an LEC doubleheader at 1:00 p.m., while men’s lacrosse will take on UMass Dartmouth in a conference game at 1:00 p.m. 

 

Huskies’ Athletics NCAA Division III Week Schedule of Events

Date

Activity

Location

Time

Mon., April 6

Student-Athlete Appreciation Luncheon

Brooks Student Center

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Wed., April 8

Pancake Breakfast

Alumni Reception Room/Costello Sports Complex

8:00 a.m.-10 a.m.

 

Men’s Lacrosse vs. St. Joseph’s College

Hannaford Field

3:30 p.m.

 

Softball vs. Bowdoin

USM Softball Field

3:30 p.m.

Thur., April 9

Softball vs. University of New England

USM Softball Field

3:30 p.m.

Fri., April 10

Career Skills Workshop

Alumni Reception Center/Costello Sports Complex

10:00 a.m.

 

Baseball vs. Bowdoin

USM Baseball Stadium

3:30 p.m.

Sat., April 11

Breakfast with President Kesselman

President’s House

9:00 a.m.

 

Baseball vs. Rhode Island College

USM Baseball Stadium

12:00 p.m.

 

Softball vs. UMass Dartmouth

USM Softball Field

1:00 p.m.

 

Men’s Lacrosse vs. UMass Dartmouth

Hannaford Field

1:00 p.m.

 

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