George J. Ames '37:   Financier and   Philanthropist
Those Were the Days,   My Friend!


Roar, Lion Roar!

Nicole Marwell '90
Mignon Moore '92
Joshua Harris Prager   '94
Cristina Teuscher '00

Teuscher Feted at Endowment Banquet

By Alex Sachare '71

Cristina Teuscher '01 with keynote speaker Donna Lopiano
Cristina Teuscher '00 (left) with keynote speaker Donna Lopiano, executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation

More than 200 supporters turned out to honor Cristina Teuscher '00 in Low Rotunda on Thursday, February 8, at the inaugural Cristina Teuscher Women's Intercollegiate Sports Banquet.

Funds from the endowment, for which $305,000 had been raised at the time of the banquet according to John Reeves, director of physical education and intercollegiate athletics, will be used to enhance the quality of the experience for women's sports participants at Columbia, with 10 percent dedicated to the women's swimming and diving program. The endowment already has surpassed the first-year goal of $250,000 that had been set by Reeves.

"I am so honored. I am really overwhelmed by this endowment," said an emotional Teuscher, the two-time Olympic medalist and winner of the 2000 Honda-Broderick Cup as the outstanding collegiate female athlete in the United States. "I think you can all imagine how proud I am to celebrate women's athletics. I know this endowment is going to have a tremendous impact on women's athletics here at Columbia."

"During my decade at Columbia University, there has not been a more significant event than this celebration," said Reeves. "We had to do something very special in the name of Cristina Teuscher."

The endowment will be used to supplement University funding for women's athletics. According to the athletics department, funds will be used for items such as recruiting, team trips during academic term breaks and facility enhancement.

Among those on hand to celebrate Teuscher, the most decorated athlete in Columbia history and the holder of 17 Lions swimming records, were her family, her coaches and many of her teammates. The evening's master of ceremonies, lacrosse player Bola Bamiduro, Barnard '01, described Teuscher as "a true role model and an inspiration to all."

The keynote speaker was Donna Lopiano, executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation, former women's athletics director at the University of Texas and a driving force in the growth of women's intercollegiate athletics over the past 25 years. She praised Columbia for forming this foundation and for honoring Teuscher by naming it after her, saying it sends the right message to children of both sexes.

"It's all about never telling a child, boy or girl, that you can't pursue your dream," Lopiano said. "I am really glad that nobody told Columbia it couldn't establish this endowment to honor Cristina. A hero is someone who embodies the characteristics we want our children to have, and Cristina has done that at Columbia."

In her remarks, Teuscher cited the supportive atmosphere she found at Columbia and the way she was able to grow, in and out of the swimming pool. "I'm so glad to have had the balance of academics and athletics you get at a place like Columbia," she said. "It's not a cookie-cutter environment, and I'm so thankful for that."

Also speaking at the banquet was Jeff Orleans, executive director of the Council of Ivy League Presidents and one of the authors of Title IX, the groundbreaking legislation passed in 1972 that prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from practicing gender discrimination in educational programs or activities, including intercollegiate athletics.

"We simply wanted our sisters and daughters and nieces to have the same educational opportunities as our brothers, our sons and our nephews," said Orleans. "On behalf of those of us who had that simple goal of equality so many years ago, I thank you, Cristina, for showing us how worthy it could be."


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