WESTON, Mass. – In a presentation at halftime of the Feb. 2 Regis College women's basketball game, past recipients of the Pride athletic department's most prestigious award were recognized as they returned to campus, some for the first time in many years.
Established as the Mother Regis Award in 1982 and now known as the Regis-Casserly Award, this honor is presented to the top male graduating student-athlete and top female graduating student-athlete recognizing excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, and service. Of the 49 past recipients invited to participate, 26 accepted the invitation and took part in Saturday's festivities.
Before the halftime presentation, the past winners gathered with current coaches, athletics staff, and members of the executive board of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for a reception in the new weight room. Pam Roecker, Dean of Athletics, opened the program with a welcoming message telling the award recipients how much they are respected, valued, and missed.
"You represent the epitome of the student-athlete that every coach in our department is searching for throughout the recruiting process. We are constantly striving to find student-athletes with a strong commitment to academics, a competitive athletic spirit, and a sense of community service and giving back as per the Sisters of St. Joseph mission, as each of you demonstrated throughout your career," Roecker said at the reception.
Mark Clemente, Associate Athletic Director, spoke about the history inherent in the selection of the award recipients dating back to 1982, making this award the longest-standing tradition within the Regis athletic program. Three of the first four recipients were in attendance, including Ellen Beaumont Sullivan, the first Mother Regis Award recipient in 1982, who came to the reception along with her mother, 1953 Regis graduate Vera Sullivan Beaumont.
Also in attendance were seven of the nine male winners since the presentation of the award was expanded in 2009 after Regis became a co-educational institution. Mike Barile '09, the first male recipient of the award, shared inspirational comments at the reception on how his experience as a student-athlete has influenced his life and career as a teacher and high school coach.
Dr. Judy Burling, athletic director from 1982 to 2002, and Joanne Crowley '74 were also invited to join the award recipients as special guests. Crowley, inducted into the Regis Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996 after a stellar career as a three-sport student-athlete in basketball, softball, and golf, welcomed the group on behalf of Regis President Dr. Antoinette M. Hays and the Board of Trustees, of which Crowley is a member.
SAAC President Kiana Koke, two-sport senior student-athlete in field hockey and lacrosse, told the invitees that "the auditorium goes silent as everyone waits to hear the honorees announced" while saying that the Regis-Casserly Award is the one the members of the senior class seek the most.
The 26 recipients then gathered in Higgins Court and walked out to midcourt as their names were announced during the halftime presentation, from most recent honorees Maresa Malcolm '18 and Fred Mathieu '18 to Beaumont Sullivan. Each one posed for a picture with Reggie and Regina, the official Pride mascots, and then everyone gathered together for a group photo.
"We were thrilled to have 26 of the 49 total winners in program history attend this inaugural event. The energy, comradery, and pride in this institution and in their legacy as student-athletes was obvious, and it is certainly something we want to capture again and again as we well this talented group back," said Roecker after the event. "Every coach, athletic administrator, and graduate assistant that was not off-campus competing was present, which allowed our alums to get to know our staff and feel great about the direction the program is moving."
In one example, Mike Webber, head coach of the women's soccer team, was able to connect with five former players, an important step as he continues to build towards a successful alumni day and attendance at future events. Webber called it "a great event that led to some wonderful conversations and great connections."
For the complete list of Mother Regis Award and Regis-Casserly Award recipients, click here. The 2019 Regis-Casserly Award winners will be announced during the Annual Athletics Awards Ceremony in late April.