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Campus News

November 20th, 2023

GC athletics focus of President's Circle event

Project exploring potential $1 million initiative to aid Laker athletics

The most recent President's Circle – Garrett College's semi-annual event for Garrett College Foundation donors – focused on the Lakers' intercollegiate athletic program.

Two students athletes – women's softball player Koley Richard and men's basketball player Nate Washington – talked about their experiences as part of Laker Nation during last Wednesday's event.

"I'm a local here in Garrett County, growing up on the southern end and attending Southern High School," said Richard, adding she chose GC in part because it was close to home and provided attractive scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

"Garrett College has provided me with great learning opportunities," added Richard. "Being a part of Garrett athletics has allowed me to further develop my athletics skills and permitted me to continue doing what I love."

President's Circle

Photo by John Rudd
Eric Hallenbeck, Garrett College's co-athletics director and head baseball coach, speaks at last Wednesday's Garrett College Foundation President's Circle update on Laker Nation athletics.

Washington – a Frostburg native who attended Mountain Ridge High School in Allegany County – said he chose Garrett College "because of the close-knit coaching staff and faculty."

"It's a very positive environment . . . where you can focus on your sport and take care of your education," said Washington. "Being a Garrett athlete means showing up every day and handling your business on and off the court.

"It's a very goal-oriented environment and easy for the athletes to buy into Laker Nation," added Washington.

"It's an exciting time for GC athletics as the Garrett College Foundation and the College embark on a feasibility study that's expected to lead to a $1 million capital campaign," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president.

Midcap said the campaign would support the further expansion of the College's intercollegiate athletics program, which recently debuted a multi-purpose turf field and launched a new women's soccer program.

Midcap said the College's goals for its intercollegiate athletic program goes well beyond won-loss records.

"Developing high-achieving teams is meaningless if that process doesn't include preparing students for high-achieving futures," said Midcap. "And that's not just my view – it's the view of our entire Athletic Department."

Elizabeth Show, co-athletics director, noted that a typical day for a GC student athlete "is anything but typical."

"Their day consists of classes, study hall, and sport-required activity," said Show. "Our student-athletes are students first.

"Some days are practice or games; other days, the teams are on the road," added Show, who also serves as the department's head athletic trainer.

Eric Hallenbeck – a co-athletic director entering his 20th year as head baseball coach – said the Lakers' entire coaching staff is committed to ensuring student success. He used his players' academic achievements as an example.

"We've had 26 academic all-Americans in the last five years, and 85 percent of the players in the last 18 years have moved on to four-year schools," said Hallenbeck of his baseball players.

Several speakers talked about the new turf field, jointly funded by the Garrett County Commissioners and the State of Maryland.

"The most visible sign of our progress is our new, multi-purpose turf field," said Midcap. "This facility serves as the home field for baseball, softball, and women's soccer, with men's soccer likely to be added in the near future."

Garrett College, in collaboration with the Garrett College Foundation and Charitable Development Consulting, is exploring the parameters of the upcoming intercollegiate athletics capital campaign. CDC is operated by Dr. Bruce Bigelow and Dr. Carol Komerten, who jointly founded the Frederick-based entity in 2001.

"The College and the Garrett College Foundation are confident we will receive a clear, actionable plan from CDC through a recently launched feasibility study process," said Cherie Krug, executive director of the Garrett College Foundation. Confidential interviews for the study began November 14-15 and will conclude December 5-6.