Usually, April 6 is just a date just like any other dates, but this year, Wildcat student athletes will spend the day celebrating National Student Athlete day for the first time in ACU history.
National Student Athlete day is a time to celebrate what athletes do in the classroom, on the field and in the community.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee and athletic administration have worked together to create one day where all student athletes can be celebrated in unity for working hard in all aspects of their collegiate lives.
Athletes such as Kyle Karnei know being a student athlete comes with a hectic schedule and that a team appreciates having recognition for it’s accomplishments.
“National Student Athlete day is celebrated all across the country and we felt, as a department, that it was important to make sure all of our athletes feel special and celebrated at least once a year,” Karnei said.
With the help of Lee De Leon, athletic director, and Sylvia Barnier, associate athletic director for compliance and academics, SAAC has planned an entire day for student athletes at ACU.
Karnei, sophomore golfer and SAAC president, has put a lot of work into this day to make it special for all sports members.
“One thing we’re doing is honoring our athletes that made over a 3.5 GPA,” Karnei said. “They will get a framed certificate from the athletics department.”
The ceremony will take place during Chapel where all student athletes at ACU will be sitting on the ground level to show recognition.
De Leon purchased purple T-shirts for the athletes to wear which say #ACUE4C – “Excellence for Christ” – a new mission statement for ACU sports.
Athletes such as Kenzie Walker, sophomore pole-vaulter and SAAC staff-member, are excited to see the school come together for congratulatory athletic achievements.
“It’s ACU’s way of thanking us for all we do and bring to the school,” Walker said.
Student athletes will carry on the celebration after Chapel by inviting 60 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Abilene to campus Monday.
The athletes will take their guests to dinner and spend time with them at the baseball game to cheer on the Wildcats as they face Texas Tech University.