Four varsity athletes attend Cornell leadership seminar

Scott Goldstein, Staff Writer

Four Bison varsity athletes attended Cornell’s Leadership in Athletics Conference called Leading through Adversity from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 along with fellow Patriot and Ivy League athletes. The four Bison included men’s lacrosse player Quinn Collison ’17, twin women’s lacrosse players Callie DeWitt ’19 and Jamie DeWitt ’19, and football safety Drew Newcomb ’19.

The conference aimed to educate and inspire athletes to lead their teams despite the adversity they may face on and off the field. The weekend started with a speech from former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, whose career came to a tragic end when he suffered a spinal injury defending a kickoff during a football game.

“The talk by Eric LeGrand was tremendously powerful, and it has allowed me to not take the fun things in life, such as sports, for granted. Eric is a very normal guy, which made his story extremely relatable, although tragic. He focused on positive thinking and how he is always moving forward in life,” Collison said.

Many of the Bison in attendance found this first speech to be the most moving. While LeGrand’s speech was possibly the most inspirational, the Bison athletes were able to relate to all the speakers throughout both days.

“All of the speakers had such unique and trying things happen to them throughout their lives and it was an honor to hear their stories. It was extremely beneficial to be there with other student athletes. We all have had similar experiences and were able to offer each other support and advice with their respective teams,” C. DeWitt said.

Following LeGrand’s speech, athletes from schools across the Patriot and Ivy Leagues came together to enjoy a dinner. The next day consisted of speeches from a range of professionals: psychologists, Marines, and educators. After several consecutive speeches, athletes broke off into groups to discuss their lessons and how they could use them to lead their teams. All four Bison found the conference to be educational and look forward to applying the lessons they learned to become better leaders.

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