NEW YORK – Columbia University Athletics closes the 2011-12 academic year with its annual year-end banquet, the 91st Annual Varsity C Celebration: Celebrating Our Student-Athletes, on Tuesday, May 1, at Levien Gymnasium, recognizing various team and individual contributions that have further enriched the Lions’ sports tradition.

The event serves as the final gathering of the 2011-12 academic year for all of Columbia’s student-athletes and coaches where the highest honors will be bestowed on some of the Lions’ brightest stars.

The Connie S. Maniatty Award is given to the top senior male and female student-athletes in recognition for their outstanding Columbia careers.

Columbia Athletics will also award two prestigious Watch Awards to two seniors who have earned the Varsity C for at least two seasons. The Marion R. Philips Watch Award is given to the senior female student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Watch Award will be presented to the senior male student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average.

In addition to the presentation of these major awards, the evening will feature a year-in-review highlight video celebrating the major moments and achievements accomplished this year. Individual sports program award winners will also be recognized during the event program and a full dinner will be served to the attendees at the conclusion of the event.

The Athletics Alumni Awards will be presented to three ardent Columbia alums, Leslie Gittess Brodsky ’88CC (women’s tennis), David Barry ’87CC (wrestling) and Michael Barry ’89CC (wrestling).

Leslie Gittess Brodsky is a member of The Women’s Leadership Council and has been a major supporter of the Columbia women’s tennis program. She was a two-time team captain and earned two Varsity C awards during her Lions career for demonstrating great leadership, sportsmanship and athletic excellence.

David Barry was a first team All-Ivy League selection as a sophomore wrestler and a two-time placewinner at Easterns. Michael Barry was a four-year letterwinner for the varsity wrestling program. With a generous donation from the Barry brothers, Columbia established the David B. and Michael I. Barry Assistant Coach of Wrestling Endowment, enabling the program to recruit and retain assistant wrestling coaches of the highest caliber.