Awards Handed Out at Annual Athletics Banquet

Banquet Program PDF   / Photo Gallery

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (May 1, 2013) - The Mount Holyoke College Department of Athletics hosted its annual awards celebration on Tuesday evening in Chapin Auditorium. Individuals from all 14 varsity teams were honored. Head golf coach Tim Walko served as the event’s emcee.

It was a historic night as the event not only marked the year-end accomplishments for the Mount Holyoke student-athletes, but also for Athletics Director and Physical Education Chair, Laurie Priest, who steps down from her position this year after 24 years at MHC.

In celebration of all that she has done for athletics and Mount Holyoke College, Priest was awarded honorary alumna status at MHC by Jane Zachary, the Executive Director of the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association. The excitement was further amplified as Zachary announced that the Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete Award, which is considered by many to be the department's most prestigious award, would be renamed in Priest's honor.

Priest and Zachary then presented the newly named Laurie Priest Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete Award to this year's recipient, So Jin Lee of the Equestrian team.

Lee was selected by the department for her outstanding achievements as both an athlete and a scholar. The award, which is sponsored by the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association, is considered by many to be the department’s most prestigious.

This season, Lee has helped the riding team return to the National Championship with a number of outstanding individual performances. In addition to winning the Walk-Trot and Walk-Trot-Canter divisions at the Smith and MHC Spring shows, respectively, Lee rode to second at the Regional Championships and helped the Lyons claim the Zone I Championships with a solid fifth-place finish.

Lee has continued to develop her skills since joining the team in 2010. Starting out as a true beginner rider, she has gone on to win six events over her career, including a key-win at the 2012 Winter Tournament of Champions.

Outside her role in equestrian, Lee has established herself as a prominent figure in a number of capacities at Mount Holyoke. A two-term President and three-year executive board member in the Student Government Association, she is the recipient of the Mount Holyoke Leadership Award and a is a multiple Service Award winner.

In addition to receiving the Ruth Lawson International Internship and Victoria Shuck Scholarships, she has also been the recipient of a number of grants throughout her career.

Lee has also served as a summer intern at multiple organizations, including the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, the Korea Women's Development Institute in Seoul, South Korea and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, also in Seoul.

Lee, who is a politics major, boasts a 3.61 cumulative grade point average. In addition to multiple riding awards over her career, she was also named an IHSA Academic Award Second Team honoree.

A total of 43 Lyons took home Senior Athlete Awards. They each participated in their sport for at least three years, including their senior year.

2013 Award Winners

Photo courtesy of So Jin Lee, Laurie Priest and Jane Zachary courtesy of Mount Holyoke Athletics Sports Information