Bearcats Welcome Back Althoff Award Winners; Willamette's Female Athletes Recognized As Part of NCAA Celebration Honoring Women Athletes

SALEM, OR — As part of the Bearcat’s celebration of 25 years of NCAA Women’s Championships, the Bearcats honored several former winners of the Henrietta “Hank” Althoff Award prior to Saturday night's game against Whitman.

The award is given each year to the player on the women's basketball team who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, inspiration, integrity, coachability and team spirit.

Receiving a plaque and the accolades of the crowd were former Althoff Award winners (pictured left, from left) Amy Ulrey, Kelly Sorenson, KayLynn Charrierre and Rosie Contri.

At halftime of the game, the Bearcats also honored all of Willamette’s female athletes. Nearly 50 of Willamette’s student athletes were on hand for the special half-time recognition.

“Throughout the country, universities are recognizing the accomplishments of women athletes by honoring 25 years of championship sports. Willamette’s female athletes have not only represented this university with distinction as athletes, but through years of parenting, work and community service that has made a difference in the lives of so many people. We are proud to recognize these athletes as models for their peers and for the generations of young women who follow them,” said Gordon.

Other Althoff award winners in recent years include Tracy Shephard and Jenny Joseph, Jamie Davis, Katie Edmonds, Simmie Muth and Julia Short.

Henrietta "Hank" Althoff never played or coached at Willamette, but during her tenure as the Student Health Nurse from 1948-1980, Hank was perhaps the Bearcat's biggest fan.

Not only did she treat many of our student athletes in the days before we had trainers, but she was a nurse and a guiding presence for all Willamette students. A regular fixture at all Bearcat sporting events, Hank was a tall, professional and exceedingly kind woman who brought a striking presence to the sidelines.

As one former soccer player said of Althoff, "She was the heart and soul of the university and the athletic department during her years here." So tonight, as we honor the following players for winning the Henrietta Althoff Award, we also honor Hank for her years of service and dedication to the entire Willamette community.

The Bearcats would like to congratulate all the former award winners and femal athletes for their commitment to women's sports.