NEW YORK – Columbia University Athletics closes the 2017-18 academic year with its annual year-end awards ceremony, the 97th Annual Varsity C Celebration: #OnlyHere in New York, N.Y. on Tuesday, May 1 at Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the official program runs from 6-7 p.m.
Modeled after the popular ESPYs awards show, the Varsity C Celebration serves as the final gathering of the academic year for all of 800-plus Columbia's student-athletes with the purpose of showcasing their achievements and milestones. The highest honors will be bestowed on several of the Lions' brightest stars. In addition to the presentation of several major awards, the evening will feature videos and highlights celebrating major moments and achievements accomplished this year. Individual sports program award winners will also be recognized during the event and a full dinner will be served to the attendees at the conclusion of the event.
Planning for this year's celebration was coordinated in conjunction with a Student-Athlete Planning Committee consisting of sophomore Amber Swinarski (Softball), junior Danielle Buttinger (Field Hockey), junior Diana Masch (Squash), senior Erin Melly (Track & Field), senior Sarah Hardie (Track & Field) and junior George Patterson (Lightweight Rowing). The group was charged to plan and add new excitement to this year's Celebration.
The Celebration is FREE for all student-athletes, coaches and Athletics staff. For parents, campus partners, alumni, and others, tickets can be purchased for $50 and can be acquired by clicking here! Additionally, please share the Facebook Event page with your constituents and on your social media pages!
ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi will serve as Master of Ceremonies. A reporter for both ESPN and ABC who is based in New York City, Rinaldi has contributed to ESPN's golf coverage, SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, College GameDay and Sunday NFL Countdown. A three-time Regional Emmy Award winner, Rinaldi earned his Master’s degree from Columbia University.
Now in its third year, the William V. Campbell Athlete of the Year will be presented to one male and one female student-athlete who demonstrates superior athletic ability during the 2017-18 academic year. The award is named after William V. Campbell ’62CC ’64TC, a former Columbia student-athlete, football coach and Chairman of the Columbia University Board of Trustees who went on to a successful business career in the Silicon Valley as Chairman of the Board for Intuit Inc., Vice President of Marketing and board director for Apple Inc. and CEO for Claris, Intuit and GO Corporation.
The Connie S. Maniatty Award is given annually to the top senior male and female student-athletes in recognition for their outstanding Columbia careers.
Two alumni members will also be featured at the event as Athletics Alumni Award recipients: former women’s soccer player Kyra Tirana Barry ‘87CC, P’17CC and former men’s basketball and track & field athlete John Vaske ‘88CC.