COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Members of the Maryland Athletics staff, student-athletes and Terrapin Club members spent Wednesday evening together celebrating Terrapin Athletics at the Scholarship and Endowment dinner. The event, hosted at the Riggs Alumni Center, provided the Terrapin Club Director’s Circle and endowment donors the opportunity to meet with student-athletes and members of the athletic department.
Guests took photos and interacted with student-athletes from of 11 different teams, while the group sat down for dinner in the Riggs Alumni Center Ball Room. Senior Associate AD and Chief Development Officer Veronica Meinhard kicked off the night welcoming donors and their families, thanking them for their generosity while recognizing student-athletes for their accomplishments in competition and in the classroom.
After hearing from Senior Associate AD for Academics & Student Development Dr. Sue Sherburne and sophomore volleyball player/SAAC Development liaison Abigail Bentz, the night’s featured speaker was Maryland football alumnus Andrew Gonnella (’11). The Smith School graduate touched on the importance of his scholarship to his development as an athlete and a person. After a career-ending injury sidelined the former walk on, the true value of his scholarship came in his time off the field.
“My scholarship meant the most to me when I was no longer playing football,” said Gonnella. “I had to pick up the pieces and build a life on the other side…I’m thankful for what my scholarship really gave me, and that’s four years of memorable moments and discovering my true potential. I got to be a part of something that was bigger than myself. Although it may be a little cliché, they tell you when you get here as a freshman that, ‘once you’re a Terp, you’re always a Terp.’ I encourage all of you to not take that for granted. Know that you’ll be forever molded by this place. And you’ll be molded by the people you meet here as well.”
Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson wrapped up the evening remarking on the growth of the Terrapin Club’s scholarship giving and again thanking the attendees for their support.