With graduation approaching, student-athletes’ time as Bison is slowly coming to an end. After four years of practices, lifts, film sessions, and workouts, many athletes have accumulated a plethora of memories as members of the Orange and Blue.
For the 168 student-athletes in the Class of 2019, their involvement in athletics has been displayed through a wide range of accomplishments. From collecting Patriot League Championships to being actively involved in the community to excelling in the classroom, their accolades extend beyond expectations.
On April 16, the University Department of Athletics and Recreation took the time to recognize this year’s senior class student-athletes at the 58th Annual Senior Recognition Banquet. During this event, student-athletes received awards dedicated to prior donors and athletes.
The 21 award recipients included the following Bison athletes from the class of 2019: Emily Gabriel (rowing), Jubal Early (golf), Julie Byrne (swimming), Bryan Marine (football), Harper Stewart (track and field), Jamie DeWitt (lacrosse), Nate Sestina (basketball), Lexi Quick (field hockey), Chadd Cummings (swimming and diving), Kate Walker (basketball), Pat Finn (football), Lauren Hadley (softball), Matt Fay (track and field), Kyi English (basketball), Kimbal Mackenzie (basketball), Colleen Buckley (cross country/track and field), J.P. Raftery (golf), Nicole Rupnik (field hockey), Jeff Gottesman (baseball), Kaitlyn Slagus (basketball), and Billy Melchionni (track and field).
These individuals, having participated as members of the Herd, have acquired skills and strategies to assist them with their journeys into the real world.
Reflecting on her experience as a Bison, Slagus, a two-time Second Team All-Patriot League basketball player who was one of the many to capture Patriot League titles throughout her career, expressed her gratitude for the program as a whole.
“I have had so much fun being a student-athlete here at Bucknell. It is such a close community that proved whether it is a coach of another sport or a professor, everyone is constantly supportive and aware of how our teams are doing, which proves how we are a part of a family,” Slagus said.
When asked to give advice to student-athletes, Sestina encouraged them to enjoy every moment.
“All of the hard times, the good times, sad times and happy times. Just soak it in because you’ll never get it back. When you are 40 years old you do not want to say, ‘I wish I could have or would have done something,’” Sestina said. “Go after every workout and every drill like it matters more than anything. Because when your time at Bucknell comes to a close, you won’t ever be a member of something like this ever again.”
It is clear that the athletic program has had a significant impact on all of the student-athletes and we wish them luck in their future endeavors.