Among the award recipients were Claire Latimer ’22, who was presented with the Major of the Year Award, and Brynja Burton ’25, who earned the Rising Phoenix Award.
The Sport Management Department hosted its senior banquet and awards ceremony on May 2, recognizing high-achieving members of its graduating class for their accomplishments, service and perseverance.
The annual event kicked off in Alumni Field House with a dinner followed by remarks from graduating seniors Chuck Steines and Ashley Stuart, as well as Associate Dean Tony Weaver. A theme developed across the trio’s comments, highlighting the department’s willingness to support one another – especially in the face of a pandemic.
Banquet photos are available on the School of Communications Flickr page.
In their informal addresses, Steines discussed how close he has grown with his fellow classmates, and that he’d be there to talk as they faced uncertainty together in the next step of their lives. Stuart, who has landed a job as a ticket sales representative with the Memphis Grizzlies after graduation, thanked her faculty members for their endless support. Lastly, Weaver offered a reflection on the students’ four years under the oaks and how they endured and succeeded the many challenges they faced.
“When things are at their worse, the best step forward,” Weaver said, imploring the soon-to-be graduates to adopt that strategy in their professional and personal lives. “Everyone is happy and excited when you are winning. The hard part is when things aren’t going as well.”
He championed the students entering the workforce to not take anything for granted, and to seize opportunities when they present themselves.
Following Weaver’s remarks, the department presented several awards, including its Major of the Year Award to Claire Latimer, who graduates with a 3.8 GPA and several undergraduate research projects under her belt, including a presentation at the 2021 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium.
Kylee Hebert ’22, who also conducted undergraduate research, received the Achievement Award, Brynja Burton ’25 earned the Rising Phoenix Award, and Cedar Zobel-Williams ’24 and Brett Bailey ’23 were recognized with endowed scholarships. During his scholarship introduction, Assistant Professor Mark Cryan commended recently retired faculty member Hal Walker for his extensive effort to fund – and ultimately endow – the scholarships to support future sport management majors.
Olivia Lovell ’23 also received the James P. Drummond Service Award, named in honor of the founding department chair of Leisure and Sport Management (later renamed Sport Management). The award is presented to a student in recognition of outstanding contributions to Elon University and the campus community.
The event was emceed by Latimer and Taylor de Castro ’22.
Sport Management Senior Class
Taylor de Castro