May 13, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University Athletic Department wrapped up the 2002-03 academic year with its annual Senior Awards Banquet, held last night at the Mayer Theatre on campus. Senior student-athletes Julie Butler (women's basketball), Joe Diefenderfer (baseball), Michael Helms (cross country), Christine Limbers (women's tennis), Roni Rivera (softball), Aly Wagner (women's soccer) and Jamil Walker (men's soccer) received awards to honor their career achievements. A special award was presented to marketing assistant Dan Galvin for his service to the athletic department.
"This is an evening to celebrate the entire year, and our seniors," Director of Athletics Cheryl Levick said. "Congratulations to them for four years of outstanding work."
References to the hit movie "Chicago" were present throughout the evening, with the women's tennis team opened the ceremony with a dance routine to "All That Jazz." Student-athletes, campus professors and athletic department staff members presented the nominees and award winners and recapped each team's season. The night culminated in a slide/video presentation that showcased what being a Bronco represents.
Wagner, who led the Broncos to two NCAA Championship appearances and the 2001 title, received the Henry Schmidt award. Named in honor of Santa Clara's first head athletics trainer, the Henry Schmidt Award is given annually to the school's top senior female athlete from the sports of basketball, soccer or volleyball. The M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner was the top draft pick in the Women's United Soccer Association's 2003 draft in February. Head coach Jerry Smith accepted the award on Wagner's behalf, as she is currently fulfilling her duties with the San Diego Spirit and U.S. National Team.
Walker received the men's equivalent of Wagner's award, named after Victor Corsiglia, a long-time supporter of Bronco Athletics from the 1950s through the 70s. Walker earned NSCAA All-Far West, All-West Region and first team All-WCC honors this past season, and finished his senior season with 14 goals and four assists. He was the Major League Soccer's 39th overall draft pick in January, and currently plays for the San Jose Earthquakes.
Diefenderfer and Rivera were recipients of the Pat Malley Awards. Named after legendary football coach and athletic director Pat Malley, the award is presented to one male and one female senior athlete who best demonstrates the qualities or attitude, character, desire, competitive spirit and the will to excel both on and off the field of play.
"Some of my best moments on and off the field have been with this group," Diefenderfer said upon accepting this award. He continued, and advised the undergraduates to "enjoy it while you can; it goes by fast."
Helms and Limbers were named recipients of the James D. Farwell Awards. Founder and long-time coach of the SCU Men's Rowing program, Farwell's inspirational work is carried on today by his son and current men's rowing coach Jay Farwell. The award is presented annually to one male and one female senior athlete from the sports of cross country, golf, rowing, softball, tennis and water polo who best combine academic and athletic excellence.
The Jim Jennings Award was presented to Galvin, a four-year marketing assistant in the External Services department. Given yearly to a non-athlete that is most distinguished for unselfish and loyal service to the Athletics Department, Galvin's unbelievable dedication and support embodies what "JJ"-as most of came to know Jennings-meant to the athletic department as a 20-year volunteer.
Women's basketball head coach Michelle Bento had the honor of introducing a new honor to the student-athletes. The Bronco Inspiration Award is given to a male or female senior athlete who has used courage, perseverance and spirit to overcome adversity, and now serves as a role model for hope and inspiration for others to follow. Butler, who despite not being able to finish her senior season, received first team All-WCC honors. She has since returned to her home state of Washington after the season and is currently undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's disease. Flown out for tonight's presentation, Butler said she was overwhelmed when she received a standing ovation as she accepted the inaugural honor.
The final honor of the evening was the Carroll Williams Award, presented by the Student-Athlete Leadership Committee to its president, Rivera. The award is presented to a male or female senior athlete who best exemplifies the ideals or leadership and community service and named after SCU's longtime men's basketball coach and athletic director. Members of the SALC nominate and select the winner of this award.
The softball and men's tennis teams successfully defended their Bronco spirit awards title, as both received the honors last season as well, for their outstanding examples of Bronco spirit among the student-athlete population.
Additionally, the men's and women's cross country and women's tennis teams were honored as the squads with the highest team GPA. Thomas Martin of men's crew and Cara Hanelin of women's soccer were the hop male and female senior student-athletes with the highest individual cumulative GPA.
"We have completed the student-athlete experience and have made it to the end," Rivera said as she addressed the audience to close the evening. "It's been one heck of a ride."
For a list of past winners, please click here.
2002-03 Senior Awards Recipients
Henry Schmidt Award, Aly Wagner
Victor Corsiglia Award, Jamil Walker
Pat Malley Award for Men, Joe Diefenderfer
Pat Malley Award for Women, Roni Rivera
James D. Farwell Award for Men, Michael Helms
James D. Farwell Award for Women, Christine Limbers
Jim Jennings Award, Dan Galvin, marketing
Bronco Inspirational Award, Julie Butler
Carroll Williams Award, Roni Rivera