Student-Athletes Honored For Academic Success

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By TARA SLEDJESKI

STAFF WRITER

Li Yang / The Ram (The Student-Athlete Advisory Council presented a $10,000 donation to St. Francis de Sales School in the Rockaways

Li Yang / The Ram The Student-Athlete Advisory Council presented a $10,000 donation to St. Francis de Sales School in the Rockaways

Li Yang / The Ram Joanne Kastberg gave the keynote address at SAAC’s Breakfast of Champions.

Li Yang / The Ram Joanne Kastberg gave the keynote address at SAAC’s Breakfast of Champions.

This past Sunday, Jan. 27, Fordham held its 10th Annual Breakfast for Champions. The breakfast is held every year to honor student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. This year, the breakfast honored 345 student-athletes, which constitutes 64 percent of all student-athletes here at Fordham.

“I think it just speaks volumes for the dedication and the mindset of student-athletes that come to Fordham that they are able to really devote the dedication and motivation that they have on the court as a player and in the classroom” Athletic Director David Roach said, praising the student-athletes honored. “I love athletes who are just as dedicated and motivated academically. That just proves that you can do both at the highest level and be successful.”

The keynote speaker at the breakfast, Joanne Kastberg, GSB ’87, also praised the student-athletes.

“I think it is very impressive the number of students that are athletic and doing academically so well because it is not easy, it’s hard and I think it is a tribute to Fordham.”

Kastberg recently raised over $100,000 for female athletic programs at Fordham and her new endeavor is the Varsity Challenge program.

The Varsity Challenge program is designed to reach out to Fordham Athletics alumni who may have forgotten about Fordham in the hustle and bustle of life. It challenges individual teams to reach out to alumni of their own team and get donations from them.

As part of the breakfast every year, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) presents a charity with a generous donation. This year, a $10,000 donation went to St. Francis de Sales School. St. Francis de Sales is located in the Rockaways and was hit hard in October by Hurricane Sandy. During the breakfast, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of the University, described St. Francis de Sales as both the “ground zero” and the “heart of” the Rockaways.

“We decided to donate to St. Francis de Sales because not only have they been tremendously affected, but a lot of Fordham alumni and people within our Fordham community are from Rockaway or from Breezy Point, part of our net here at Fordham,” Kristina Buongiorno, GSB ’14, a volleyball player and president of the SAAC, said.  “We felt that it was important to give back from Fordham to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

In addition to the monetary donation, Fordham student-athletes are also going to be helping out by traveling down to the Rockaways during a “Sandy Saturday” organized by Campus Ministry in April.

Present at the breakfast to accept the donation on behalf of St. Francis de Sales was Jamie Agoglia, GSB ’92. Agoglia is the president of the parish council at St. Francis.

Monsignor Joseph Quinn, who helped to mobilize funds for Sandy relief, praised the whole Agoglia family for their work towards rebuilding St. Francis de Sales. He noted that their own home was damaged, but in the Jesuit spirit of men and women for others, they were more worried about St. Francis de Sales.

During the breakfast, the Agoglia family talked about life in the Rockaways being lived by the three F’s – family, faith and friends. It was then jokingly mentioned that a fourth F should be added, Fordham, in honor of the contributions Fordham is making to the area.