All NACDA Members
Scholarship Awards Luncheon
(Tuesday, January 20, 1:00-2:30 p.m.)
I'd like all of you to join me as we welcome into the room our invited guests and awardees that will be honored today at the 1995 NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. It is my pleasure to introduce Art Eason, director of athletics at William Paterson College and NACDA Secretary, to give the invocation.
Let us pray. Oh Creator of all things, we thank Thee for Thy many blessings that You have bestowed upon us. We are especially grateful for this group of outstanding scholarship award winners which we are honoring here at the luncheon today. Let them continue to be the role models for our youth, showing them, with your help, that anything is possible. We ask for Your continued love, guidance and strength to meet the challenges of today's world. Aid us in doing what is right. May we acquire additional insight from this meeting today and the Convention to make us better athletic administrators. May we forever walk in Thy grace. These things we ask in Your name. Amen.
I'm sensitive to the fact that since we're in Las Vegas, some of you may be interested in getting a tan. I want to provide you that opportunity. I don't want to be insensitive as president, although I don't have any need for that type of thing. I want to, again, welcome you to the 1995 NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon. We have an opportunity today to recognize some outstanding achievement by some of our student-athletes in our industry.
I would like to introduce the people who will not be receiving awards today. Please hold your applause and I've asked each of them to remain standing until I've introduced everyone. On the upper dias, to my right, we have Mike Cleary, NACDA Executive Director; Art Eason, AD at William Paterson College and NACDA Secretary; Vince Dooley, AD at the University of Georgia and NACDA 3rd Vice President; Barbara Hedges, AD at the University of Washington and NACDA 2nd Vice President; and Jerry McGee of Disneyland. To my left is today's sponsor representing Sears, Tom Sharbaugh; Elaine Dreidame, associate AD at the University of Dayton and chair of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee; Ted Leland, AD at Stanford University; and Roy Hamlin, president and CEO of AdCraft Associates, Inc. Ladies and gentlemen, our upper dias.
Serving as our master of ceremonies today is Gene Policinski of USA Today. The managing editor for sports at USA Today, Gene is also one of the founding staffers of the national newspaper. He is also the founding editor of USA Today Baseball Weekly and directed the development of the news staff and content for the publication. Gene also serves as a member of the NACDA/Disney Blue Ribbon Selection Committee. Ladies and gentlemen, Gene Policinski.
Good afternoon. You'll notice in that introduction that there was nothing about emceeing. There was nothing about living up to the people you've had come to this dinner before who broadcast with me. So, bear with me. Remember, you've got the print guy. He reads, but he doesn't talk all that well. We are pleased to join with our friends from the Walt Disney Company in presenting you with the 1995 NACDA/Disney Scholar-Athlete Award winners. This year, 259 nominations were received. Through the outstanding work of the Review Committee and Blue Ribbon Committee, we have arrived at our 10 winners.
Now, I graduated from Ball State University and I noticed there wasn't a Ball State person here receiving an award. So, there is another Ball State grad who has done very well for himself. We were there at the same time. I got to know him in Indianapolis, so I've stolen his idea and that is David Letterman. I thought, given this position, we should give you the top ten reasons NACDA is meeting in Las Vegas. Tenth reason is that the New Orleans city council issued a declaration that those wacky NACDA folks are just too much for our quiet little city; the ninth reason is the Fairmont Hotel decided to get a little advance work done from the damage of the NACDA parties and started remodeling in 1995; the eighth reason was that the NACDA staff thought Mike Cleary said he was going to Ireland and they booked the meeting in a place they always go when he leaves the country, Las Vegas. EuroDisney had some rooms, but they refused to put the little mints on the pillows at night, so here we are at the Sahara; Bob Vecchione has been waiting for years to introduce all of your Irish guys to some family friends here in Vegas; number five, Marco Island Marriott is still angry over all of those missing towels from last year; the only Sears store in the nation where if you turn right at the tire display, there's a casino and floor show; number three, there's a nice pawn shop down the way where you can get a good return on a slightly used crystal cup; the number two reason you're here is that the O.J. jury stays weekends at the Sahara and they've a neat idea on funding Title IX. The number one reason NACDA is in Vegas, it is the best place to test the unique Gene Smith method of funding the NACDA budget for next year, which starts with, "Meet me near the Caravan Room with two million quarters and a really big cup." Back to the really big cup.
To present the Scholar-Athlete Awards is Jerry McGee, representing the Walt Disney Company.
Good afternoon. I'm proud to be here today as a representative of the Walt Disney Company, who together with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, has made a commitment to recognizing and supporting excellence among today's scholar athletes. 1995 will mark the sixth year in which we have honored 10 graduating seniors who have displayed the utmost of character both on and off the athletic field.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, we will introduce the winners of the 1995 NACDA/Disney Scholar-Athlete Awards, each of whom have at least a 3.0 GPA and was an all-conference or all-America in their sport. Each of these young men and women will receive a $5,000 scholarship for postgraduate study funded by the Walt Disney Company.
Our first recipient is Josh Bloom, a linebacker on Dartmouth College's football team. With Josh today is associate AD Jo-Ann Nester. Josh was twice named second-team all-Ivy League, three times named Academic all-Ivy and twice named Academic all-District. In 1994, he was named second-team Academic all-America and a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. He received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, an NFF Postgraduate Scholarship and an NFF Medical Economics Scholarship. Josh plans to attend medical school at the University of Colorado School of Health Sciences. Ladies and gentlemen, Josh Bloom.
Our next recipient is Terry Dean, a quarterback for the University of Florida. Terry was a four-time Academic all-Southeastern Athletic Conference selection and a two-time Academic all-America. In 1995, he was named to the Hula Bowl All-Star Game and, in 1994, was a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm finalist, the ESPN Player of the Game vs. Tennessee, was named all-American Scholar Collegiate Award and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Terry could not be with us today. Accepting for him is assistant AD for student services, Tom Williams.
Dana Drew was a point guard for the University of Toledo's basketball team. She is our first scholarship recipient to post a perfect 4.00 GPA. I will say, that's a theme you may hear repeated today. She was a two-time Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, was twice named first-team all-MAC and was a five-time MAC Player of the Week. She was also named to the MAC all-tournament team three times, making her the only player in conference history to win the award more than once. She is a two-time first-team Academic all-America, three-time first-team Academic all-MAC and was an Olympic Sports Festival participant. Accepting for Dana, who is in Africa playing basketball with Athletes in Action is AD Al Bohl.
Our next recipient is Darren Eales, a center/forward for Brown University's soccer team. With Darren is AD David Roach. Darren is our second student to have a perfect 4.00. Darren was named first-team all-Ivy League three times, second-team all-New England two times, Brown Player of the Year two times, Brown Daily Herald Athlete of the Season two times, Ivy League Player of the Week five times and Academic all-Ivy League twice. In 1994, he was named first-team all-America, Ivy League Player of the Year, first-team all-New England and was a two-time Soccer America Player of the Week. Ladies and gentlemen, Darren Eales.
Our next recipient, Michael House, a defensive lineman from Johns Hopkins University, also posted a perfect 4.00. Michael was a two-time first-team Academic all-America, a three-time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll choice and, in 1994, was named first-team all-Centennial Conference. He received the Golden Key-Peat Marwick Scholarship in 1994 and was a two-time recipient of the Alpha Delta Phi Seward Scholarship. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael House.
Stephanie Neill was a member of the golf team at Wake Forest University. She was a three-time first-team all-America, three-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference, two-time ACC Player of the Year, four-time Wake Forest MVP and four-time ACC Academic Honor Roll. In 1995, she received the Weaver-James Postgraduate Scholar award and the ACC Academic Excellence Award. Stephanie is presently attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open and will pursue qualification for the LPGA tour. Accepting her award is sports information director Dan Zacharias.
Our next recipient, Eric Oliver, was a linebacker for the U.S. Military Academy. Eric is a Rhodes Scholar and, in 1994, was an NFF National Scholar-Athlete, a first-team Academic all-America and a Hitachi/CFA Scholar-Athlete. He was also a Distinguished Graduate in Military Science in 1994 and was a Distinguished Cadet from 1991 to 1995. This past year, he served as Regimental Commander, responsible for the leadership development of 1,000 cadets. Accepting for Eric is athletic director, K.C.Scull.
Cheril Santini, a diver from Southern Methodist University, is our next recipient. With Cheril is AD and NACDA First Vice President Jim Copeland. Cheril was a 10-time all-America, a two-time NCAA champion on the 1-meter springboard, four-time Southwest Conference champion on the 1-meter board, a seven-time SWC champion on all boards and a three-time Academic all-America. In 1995, she was named the NCAA Diver of the Year. Cheril was a member of the 1991, 1992 and 1994 U.S. National Diving Team and plans to try out for the 1996 Olympic diving team. Good luck. Ladies and gentlemen, Cheril Santini.
The fourth of five scholarship recipients to have a perfect 4.00 GPA, Paul Stevens was a member of Georgia Tech's tennis team. With Paul today is associate AD Bernadette McGlade. Paul was a two-time Academic all-America and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll four times. In 1995, he was the recipient of the ACC's Weaver-James Postgraduate Scholarship as one of the ACC's top scholar-athletes and was a finalist for the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship. In 1994, he was named first-team all-ACC and first-team Academic all-America. Ladies and gentlemen, Paul Stevens.
The fifth student-athlete to have a 4.00, Rob Zatechka was a linebacker for the University of Nebraska's football team. Here with Rob today is AD and NACDA Past President Bill Byrne. Rob was a two-time Academic all-America, a two-time Hitachi/CFA Scholar-Athlete and a four-time Academic all-Big Eight scholar. In 1995, he was the recipient of the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship and was named the Nebraska Male Student-Athlete of the Year. In 1994, he received the NCAA Today's Top Eight Award, was named the Honda National Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Year and received the NFF Draddy Fellowship. Rob was a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Giants. Ladies and gentlemen, Rob Zatechka.
Let's have a big round of applause for these fine student-athletes. This is presented to you, Jerry on behalf of NACDA for Disney's support of the program. Thank you.
Now, to present the NACDA Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards, Gene Smith, director of athletics at Iowa State University and NACDA's president.
Thank you Gene. The NACDA Foundation, along with the people from the Kickoff Classic and Disneyland Pigskin Classic, annually sponsors a postgraduate scholarship for one member of each of the teams that participated in the two NACDA-sponsored preseason football games. The NACDA Foundation is providing the funds for four $5,000 grants, a total of $20,000 in postgraduate scholarships. Each of the winners is a varsity football letter winner who has completed his eligibility and has carried at least a 3.00 grade point average.
Our first recipient, from the University of Nebraska, is Terry Connealy. A defensive tackle, Terry carried a GPA of 3.76 in agribusiness. Terry is currently in camp with the New York Jets. Accepting the award for Terry is Bill Byrne, Nebraska AD and NACDA Past President.
Our next recipient, from Ohio State University, is wide receiver Joey Galloway who posted a 3.00 GPA in marketing. Accepting for Joey, who is in mini-camp with the Seattle Seahawks, is athletics director Andy Geiger.
From West Virginia University, Matt Taffoni recorded a GPA of 3.52. An outside linebacker, Matt majored in chemistry. Along with sports marketing director Tim Roberts, please congratulate Matt Taffoni.
Our final recipient is from Fresno State. A free safety, Lance Thomas had a 3.20 GPA in speech communication. Here with AD and NACDA Past President Gary Cunningham, please welcome Lance Thomas.
Let's congratulate these outstanding young men. Now, we are pleased to join with our friends from Sears in presenting you with the second class of Sears Directors' Cup Postgraduate Scholarship Award winners. We received 115 nominations. Through the outstanding work of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee, we have arrived at our four winners.
Now, to present the Sears Directors' Cup Postgraduate Scholarship Awards, Tom Sharbaugh, vice president for strategic planning and advertising at Sears.
Thank you Gene. Good afternoon everyone. It's a pleasure to be here again as we, at Sears, complete our second year of involvement with NACDA. The association has been a great one for us. We've formed a lot of great friendships and associations with people in this room and we're beginning to feel like we belong to the family. It's a great pleasure to be here with you again in celebrating this year's honorees for their achievements on the field and congratulations to all those who have been up to receive awards so far.
A little later in the program, we'll be announcing the winner of the Sears Directors Cup for 1994-95 and, in just a few minutes, we will be announcing the winners of this year's Sears Directors Cup postgraduate scholarships. When you hear what these folks have accomplished in their college careers and the contributions they've made to the athletic progress of their respective institutions, I think you'll understand why these five have been selected from the more than 115 nominations that Gene spoke to a minute ago.
Before we name the winners of the 1995 Sears Directors' Cup Postgraduate Scholarship Awards, I would like to talk a little about the Sears Directors' Cup program and some of the things that NACDA and Sears will be doing in the coming years to strengthen this program. The platform for our company's involvement in collegiate sports is something we call the Sears Collegiate Champions Program, which is a unique partnership of collegiate athletic associations that recognizes participation and celebrates achievement in college sports. For the past two years, we have honored more than 1,700 conference champions across all sports in all divisions from NCAA Division I through NAIA Division II. In addition, the program has recognized 33 division sport championships, national champions in three sports and one champion of champions who takes home the Sears Directors' Cup. In addition, the program provides more than $118,000 worth of scholarships awards each year to athletic support staffs at more than 1,330 colleges.
The broad reach of this program into virtually every corner of the country is something that we like a lot and has made this an important vehicle for Sears to connect with the local community. It gives us the ability to make what we think is a positive contribution. In that program, the pinnacle of our involvement in collegiate sports is the Sears Directors' Cup. When we got involved with the program in 1993, our vision was to recognize gender equity, sport equity and school equity. We accomplished the first two of those, gender equity and sport equity by designing a scoring system where the points are derived from a combination of 11 men's sports and 11 women's sports and where each is weighed equally. This puts men's and women's athletics achievements on equal footing and it puts sports such as football and basketball on the same page as gymnastics, swimming and lacrosse.
In terms of school size however, up to now the Directors' Cup has been limited to just NCAA Division I. I'm happy to announce that next fall, the Directors' Cup Program will be expanded by NACDA and Sears to include all levels of the NCAA -- Division I, Division II and Division III and the NAIA. That means that next year at this time, we will be having a longer ceremony because we'll be announcing four Sears Directors' Cup winners and we'll be recognizing scholarship winners from a much wider slate of schools, but we will have achieved our goal of achieving school size equity within the program. We really look forward to that and some fresh excitement in the program next year. In the meantime, we have a lot of excitement to share with you today.
Now, it's our pleasure to announce this year's very deserving winners of the Sears Directors' Cup Postgraduate Scholarship Awards. Each one of these winners was determined by virtue of strong academic credentials earning at least a 3.0 GPA and each member has served in an important support role in their athletic department of their respective schools in activities that range from team manager or trainer to facilities manager, equipment manager and all the way to band members and cheerleaders. As such, they are the people who usually work behind the scenes and work without a whole lot of recognition. Each one of these young men and women will receive a $5,000 scholarship from Sears to fund their postgraduate study. At this point, I'll turn the podium back to Gene to introduce this year's winners.
Our first recipient, Susan Alford, is from Purdue University and served as a trainer for four years. She was named the HKLS department Outstanding Senior of the Year and was one of 37 graduating seniors with a perfect GPA of 4.00. She was the recipient of the Alpha Xi Delta Top Woman Scholar of Purdue University Award, was a Mortarboard Fellowship recipient in 1995, was named Purdue Panhellenic Association's Outstanding Graduating Senior, was a recipient of several scholarships. Accepting for Susan is Tracey Cumming a graduate of the University of Iowa, keeping it in the conference.
Our next recipient, Adrienne Hagan was a calculus and statistics tutor at Wake Forest University. Adrienne posted a GPA of 3.80 in health and sport science. She won the Rotary and Black American Scholarships and was on the President's List and the Dean's List five times. She was inducted into the Golden Key National Honor Society, served as the 1995 Senior Class Campaign Class Agent, was a Freshman Study Skills Seminar Organizer, North Carolina Baptist Hospital volunteer and volunteer for the 1994 AAU Tournament. Accepting for Adrienne is sports information director Dan Zacharias.
Our third recipient is Christopher Hood, a four-year sports information assistant at Davidson College. Christopher posted a 3.48 GPA in political science. He is listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, was a Charles A. Dana Davidson Honor Scholar, a Davidson Hall Counselor and a North Carolina Legislators' School for Youth Leadership Development Hall Counselor. He was a Dean of Students political science tutor and was on the President's Racial and Ethnic Minorities Advisory Committee. Ladies and gentlemen, Christopher Hood.
Our final recipient is Gregory Perry, a cheerleader from Florida State University. Here today with Gregory is AD and Executive Committee member Dave Hart, Jr. Gregory served as team captain for two years. He posted a 3.70 GPA in biological sciences and was named one of College Sports magazine "Nation's Best and Brightest Cheerleaders". His cheerleading honors included most improved in 1992, most dedicated in 1993 and most valuable in 1994. He was a National Cheerleader's Association Collegiate all-America in 1994 and was a Cheerleaders of America College Coed Couples national champion. Ladies and gentlemen, Greg Perry.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of these outstanding scholars, a response will be given by Rob Zatechka.
First off, I want to say thank you. It's a great honor to represent all of the Disney, NACDA Foundation and Sears Directors' Cup scholarship winners. I've been fortunate this past year to tend a number of banquets and awards dinners and events such as this. I really appreciate events like this for the reason that they recognize our efforts as total student-athletes. I would like to thank NACDA, the NACDA Foundation, Sears and Disney for sponsoring the scholarships and providing the financial resources for all of us to proceed postgraduate studies.
These groups should be applauded and commended for recognizing the many positive aspects of intercollegiate athletics and helping us plan for life after sports. All of us have made sacrifices and put forth a great deal of effort to earn special honors such as we're receiving this afternoon. We have excelled in the classroom and in our sport and have been involved in our communities. The commitment to excellence that we've displayed in all areas of our lives has inspired young people and will serve all of us well in our future endeavors.
I'm confident that some of the people who have been honored here this afternoon will go on to become some of our nation's brightest stars and future leaders. Finally, I'd like to make some special mention of the effort and dedication provided by the athletic support students at our individual institutions and how much their contributions are appreciated by the student-athletes and by the entire athletic departments. Also, I'd personally like to thank the administrators and coaches from each of our institutions who provide us with the support and resources to achieve academic and athletic excellence.
Again, I'd like to congratulate all of the scholarship winners and, once again, thank NACDA, the Foundation, Sears and Disney for providing the postgraduate scholarships. Thank you.
Thank you Rob. I think it befits us all in the presence of young people who have accomplished so much and who have demonstrated excellence, not just on the playing field, but in their lives and academic careers. Let's give a round of applause to these outstanding scholars.
Before the presentation of the Sears Directors' Cup, we would like to show you a video of the program.
I would now like to bring Tom Sharbaugh back to the podium for the presentation of the Sears Directors' Cup trophy.
Thank you Gene. It has been another exciting year in the competition for the Directors' Cup and now is the time when we get to share with you the final outcome of that competition. As you know, to be in the hunt for this award, a school has to perform well across a broad spectrum of sports, so we think it's a great measure of the quality and the depth of a school's athletic program. A lot of great schools were in the hunt this year and I'd like to acknowledge and congratulate all of the top schools and acknowledge those that we have time for this afternoon.
I'm going to actually read the top 10 finishers in the standings beginning with number 10 up to number one. We feel this is more than just one team, to be high in the standings of this award we think is an indication of the quality of your program. The number 10 in the standings this year is the University of Texas; number nine is the University of Nebraska; number eight is Penn State University; number seven is Michigan; number six is Southern Cal; number five is Florida; number four is Arizona; number three is UCLA; and number two is last year's winner, University of North Carolina. Congratulations John Swofford. Finally, the winner of the 1995 Sears Directors' Cup, this year's champion of champions is Stanford University.
I'd like to ask Ted Leland to come forward and accept the trophy.
I'd like to give you some Stanford facts while the necessary photos are being taken. They captured five sport championships in water polo, women's volleyball, women's swimming and diving and men's gymnastics and men's tennis. They won nine Sears Conference Championship awards. Stanford's student-athletes won 15 individual championships during the season and in all, Stanford had 11 top 10 finishes, baseball could make it 12, but that is still not decided. Stanford has 16 top 20 finishes. Quite a year for Stanford and quite a year for the Directors' Cup.
Coinciding with the presentation of the trophy is the presentation of the fifth Directors' Cup scholarship, awarded to an individual from the winning institution. This scholarship has been awarded to Robert Ross. Robert was an intramural assistant for four years at Stanford and posted a GPA of 3.70, while earning degrees in philosophy and biology. Rob was awarded an Undergraduate Research Major Grant and a partial scholarship with acceptance to Baylor Medical College. He served as a Little League Baseball coach, volunteer for Prospective Freshman Week and fire department volunteer. Accepting for Robert Ross is Anne Wicks, captain of the women's volleyball team at Stanford.
I would like to congratulate both Sears and Stanford for a most successful year. At this time, I would like Ted Leland to return to the podium.
It's certainly a pleasure to be here today. First of all, I need to thank a lot of people and I'd like to start off by thanking both Disney and Sears. We've been lucky at Stanford to have a lot of recipients in the last few years of these forms of scholarship aids for postgraduate education and I think it's appropriate that someone in my position, being an administrator at a school that's been so blessed by having winners of these types of awards, thank these people.
I'd also like to thank NACDA. I've been a member of this organization since near it's beginning and I've grown strength from my colleagues who are here today. It's been a real joy to see a lot of my friends again and I certainly look forward to coming each year. Being a graduate of the Management Institute and having done a little bit of the marketing, I can say I appreciate the professional education and the kind of presentations we've had throughout this time.
As I rise today, I'm proud of the company I keep. First of all, I'm proud of the student-athletes and the coaches at Stanford University. It's an incredible group of people, both the young people and the coaches. I couldn't be prouder. We have four coaches who are going to be head coaches in the 1996 Olympics and a couple more in line. We have an unbelievable staff. Three of them are here today and I would like to acknowledge them. First of all, Tara VanDerveer who is our head women's basketball coach and has been in the Final Four four of the last six years and has won two national championships. Tara is now the head coach of the U.S. National Team and will be the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team coach. In addition to that, we have two of our administrators, Debbie Corum, who we just hired from the Southeast Conference. Next, is Cheryl Levick who is a member of NACDA's Executive Committee and is senior associate athletic director at Stanford University, which is short for, she really runs a great program.
I'm proud of the company I keep because of the kind of other programs that this cup automatically compares us to. When Tom read down the names of the other schools in the top 10, what a thrill for us to be compared with these institutions. I look back at North Carolina with their two basketball performances one year ago, their consistent record of excellence across the board, track and field, wrestling, lacrosse and it goes on and on. What great athletes are at the University of Michigan, UCLA and Arizona. I'm just so proud to enjoy the competition that these schools present to us.
I thought it most appropriate to ask one of our student-athletes to respond to this award. Anne Wicks is the captain of our national championship women's volleyball team. She was a four-year letter winner, starter on two national championship teams, was captain of the team and is also co-chair of the Stanford University Athletic Department Captain's Council and Advisory Group, the administration on the conduction of the athletic department. Anne will respond on behalf of Stanford University.
First of all, I'd like to thank both Sears and NACDA. This is an amazing program and a great award. I commend them for their recognition of the importance for the health and prosperity of an entire department and not only specific teams or specific areas. That's a tremendous advancement in the thinking of athletics. You should all be proud to support that program.
I'm proud to say that I'm a student-athlete at Stanford and to be part of that program. It is an amazing place. It has changed my life drastically. The most important thing about Stanford is how humble it is. It teaches all of the student-athletes some very important things and one is, first and foremost, keep things in perspective. I think our athletic department and administration should be commended for its ability to keep things on an even keel. We have a very informal department. Our administrators are very approachable and people know each other by name. Because our department is relatively in terms of a community, it gives the athletes a chance to learn and respect each other and that's very important. It has shaped my growth as a person and as an athlete.
There are so many gifted people at Stanford who aren't athletes and who are athletes. You sit around and absorb everything. There are some very dedicated and motivated people and it's hard not to be in awe of that and so, I'm overwhelmed to actually accept this award on behalf of a lot of fabulous and fantastic athletes.
I want to reiterate something that Rob said earlier and that is the importance of our student support staff. We'll all recognize that tradition is a huge part of athletics. A lot of times that comes in the form of a band and of cheerleaders, but also, it comes in the form of people who do your media relations who take care of a lot of things behind the scenes. We've had some great managers who make life a lot easier for us. That's important for a student-athlete to have life as uncomplicated as possible with so many demands on your time. It's tremendous for people to give of their time.
I'll give you an example of why I think the Stanford program is so exceptional. I'm done with my eligibility, I've graduated and I'm moving onto grad school at Stanford. The athletic department really had no obligation to assist me in any way beyond my undergraduate years. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that I could stay at Stanford. It made me feel like they liked me and wanted to make sure that I succeed. They have created an atmosphere where it's very possible and very likely for you to succeed and to make you want to succeed.
Talking to my friends, who have gone to other places, that isn't common. The family and care that are expressed at Stanford show you a world that goes way beyond your athletic years and it prepares you for what life is really going to be like. That's probably the most valuable lesson any athletic department could give its athletes.
Once again, thank you very much and thanks for your time.
Tom, I think we have one more item of business that we didn't tell you about. This is a memento and a thank you from NACDA and I'd like to add my personal thanks and the thanks of my colleagues at USA Today for what is an outstanding program. This is a program that recognizes the completeness of the experience of college athletics from academics to support to competition. So, on behalf of NACDA, here is a Sears award for you.
I would like to congratulate the outstanding students you see before you today for their outstanding achievements in the field of athletics and in the classroom. This is an exceptional group of young men and women standing before you today. I would also like to commend Stanford for their excellence in winning the second Sears Directors' Cup trophy. I gave you the top 10 list earlier and I won't put you through another one. For just a moment, I want to talk to you about Keith Jackson's speaking of tradition and his hopes that you'll safeguard that for future generations. Jackson and many others, including myself, see something in the work that you do and the impact that it has on others. I suspect that in the daily grind of things, that might get lost. He calls it tradition. I call it almost magic. What you do, even if it's counting jerseys at the end of the season, taking care of budgets or doing all of the grind, may not feel like magic at the time, but from my perspective, it is. You have a life's work that brings joy to millions, encourages young people to reach as high as they can as they set their adult lives in motion. You belong to a world that is not immune from scandal, from illegality, disputes, but which manages so well to every time a team takes the field to set that aside and work on the best that is in people.
I mention this because, not only do I assume your jobs are very tough in today's environment, but I think in our society today, there are a great many reasons for despair. We all know the terrible toll that drugs take. We know that crime is a major issue in our country. Companies no longer provide the lifetime they once did in a very dangerous economic environment for individuals and companies. We face not just generation X, but generation O in a way. The start of a new millennium will have challenges that none of us in this room have faced. If you let it, it could get you down, but don't. There are these students, your sports and your world. Your world has helped to bring about these wonderful student-athletes. They are as much, if not more, the story of their generation as any of the people who will regularly make headlines. Keith Jackson has certainly seen a lot more of college competition than I have and he likes what he sees.
Anybody here today for the litany of 4.0s and 3.7s and the volunteer work at hospitals and fire departments, would have to like what they see. It's a hint, a peek, at the way life could be and the way life is for many people. The brighter and best among us is the promise of victory. Even if you go over that budget trying to pull another three percent to spend or take out, find peace in the understanding that you direct programs that can aspire and delight and encourage, not just athletes in your programs, but people in your community, in your state, in the nation. I'm talking about the magic today because it would be easy to forget, in light of Title IX, gender equity, tight budgets and a very cynical public that you have to face on a regular basis.
Don't let it get to you. Work at expanding programs like the Directors' Cup, the Disney scholarships and keep working to improve your profession which you've been doing here this week. Look at the wonderful people you have to learn from, like Betty Kruczek. Always take joy in what you do. I switched from news to sports and I still get asked if that was a good decision. My answer is that, in some ways, it hasn't changed. My new world, which touches yours in many ways has one major difference from what I used to do, there's a hero every night, sometimes many heros. There are great examples of the human spirit, hourly, minute to minute, second to second. It's a great antidote to the world's wearing hours, your world. Keep that in mind. Don't let go of the magic. Thank you very much.
Thank you Gene. Please accept this memento on behalf of NACDA for serving as our master of ceremonies.
Thank you for attending. A big thanks to Jerry McGee of Disney and Tom Sharbaugh of Sears for their support of NACDA and their commitment to our scholar-athletes. Just a quick reminder to browse the exhibit hall and drop your business cards in the boxes at each exhibitor's booth. The drawing for the grand prize will be tomorrow morning. The exhibitor's booth from which the winning card will be chosen will be selected after the 7:30 to 8:30 exhibit session. The winning card will be chosen in the business session. So make your rounds this afternoon. The grand prize consists of round trip airfare for two and accommodations for four nights in Munich, Germany, compliments of International Sport, Inc., located in booth #100 and represented by Deborah Lile-Dunston.
This is a great day for us because we honor student-athletes. In closing, as I sat and listened to Anne and Rob and to Gene, it reminded me of a story and a personal experience I had. I had an opportunity to be around some great athletes and grow in athletics experience. It's unbelievable what we provide our student-athletes and we should be proud of that. There was a great athletic director who has passed away, named Moose Krause. I'll never forget a message he delivered to us as students. He told us only in preparing oneself laboriously and steadily through long hours of concentration, heat, weariness and frustration, could one be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves. He said there's a quality of courage and fortitude that sport engenders. It takes unusual heartiness and stamina to challenge, to risk everything in competition again and again and again in the specter of defeat, and potential public embarrassment until it no longer paralyzes you. It's in this testing. It's in this, where the game mimics life. It's in this process where losers are developed into winners and winners become leaders. As I sat and listened to Anne and Rob and witnessed all of the student-athletes that we've recognized here today through Sears and Disney, it reminded me of what we're all about and that is developing leaders for tomorrow's complex society. I congratulate all of you for a job well done. We stand adjourned.