Since Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper’s first day on the campus of Springfield College, the first-year president has put forth a tremendous effort making the college a better place for students. From issuing a feedback system in order to find out how to better the college, to consistently eating meals in Cheney Dining Hall, to exercising in the Wellness Center, there is no doubt that Cooper has been a presence at her new home.
In light of this year being the 50th anniversary of women’s varsity athletics here at Springfield College, Cooper and her husband, David, have decided to issue a challenge to the varsity women’s athletic teams on campus.
For people trying to log onto the Springfield College Athletics page during the past week or so, a black text box with a countdown at the bottom has been ticking down to the release of the challenge.
At approximately 1 a.m. on Friday morning, the challenge’s countdown ended. The page for donation is located here.
Cooper has challenged the friends, families, alumni and athletes of each women’s athletic team at Springfield to make donations to the college in a team’s name. At the challenge’s end, the team with the highest amount of donations will win a $5,000 gift to the teams fund. The second-place team will receive $3,000.
“[This challenge] is a real tribute to her as a person to be able to step into her career here, being a female president, and create this challenge,” said Cathie Schweitzer, the athletic director at Springfield College. “I am not saying a male president wouldn’t do the same, but the fact that she is a female and the fact that this is the 50th anniversary of women’s athletics at Springfield College is her making a statement.”
Due to the differences in sizes of each team, it was Cooper’s idea to make the challenge more about participation rather than about the actual dollar amount raised. That way, a team like swimming and diving or track and field doesn’t have a major advantage over a team like tennis.
The giving challenge is just another way to raise awareness for women’s varsity athletic sports at Springfield during its hallmark year.