MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- The Department of Athletics at the College of Saint Elizabeth prides itself on year-round community involvement and this year the Screaming Eagles add another initiative that is close to the collective heart of women's intercollegiate athletics and that of Director of Athletics Juliene Brazinski Simpson.
Throughout 2012-13, the Screaming Eagles will take part in "We Back Pat," a nationwide celebration of legendary University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, who recently stepped down after 38 years and eight national championships as the head coach.
On Aug. 23, 2011, Summitt raised the bar on courage when she revealed that at the age of 59, she was diagnosed with early onset dementia, "Alzheimer's Type," by the doctors at the Mayo Clinic.
The Tennessee coach, who was a co-captain with Simpson for the 1976 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team, decided then and there to continue a lifelong practice of treating both herself and her program as an open book.
The "We Back Pat" promotion sprang up overnight and went viral in social media following Summitt's medical announcement. Pat and her son Tyler decided to join this battle, not just for them, but also for the millions of families affected by this disease and The Pat Summitt Foundation was created with a focus on Alzheimer awareness, advocacy and research.
Pat stated “Our greatest opportunities are disguised as our greatest obstacles and it is time to treat this obstacle as an opportunity – and a stepping stone to a cure”.
During the 2012-13 athletic season each of the Screaming Eagles teams will wear bright orange T-shirts with the slogan “Screaming Eagles Back Pat” in celebration of Pat’s life and all she has given to women’s athletics, and show their support in the battle to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
To quote Summitt: “You win in life with people and that’s important because if you hang with winners, you stand a great chance of being a winner.”
For more information on how to contribute to the Pat Summitt Foundation, click here (http://www.patsummitt.org/.)