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Skidmore College

'Family for a lifetime'

May 15, 2019
by Haley English '19 and Damian Hammond '19

Seventy-seven student-athletes are graduating from Skidmore this year.

We've achieved 12 Liberty League titles, a national championship and dozens of awards between us. But for graduating Thoroughbreds, these accomplishments only tell part of our story.

We will soon say goodbye to our T-bred time. But before we go, we wanted to share our thoughts on what our lives have been like, as we did during Skidmore's recent Sports Recognition Night.

Here are our feelings on what it means to graduate as student-athletes.

Haley English

Women’s basketball

From Wilton, Connecticut 

“If someone were to ask me as a freshman if I'd be interested in talking at Sports Recognition Night as a senior, I probably would have hid in my room for the next three years. But because of the amount I've grown through being a student-athlete, the experiences I've had and meaningful relationships I've built, I looked at this speech as my final Thoroughbred challenge.

“This season forced me to work harder than I ever have, think deeper than I've ever thought, and care more than I care to admit. Reflecting on this year, it became very clear to me that the season was most beneficial to my growth as a basketball player and, more importantly, a person.

“According to author Jen Sincero, ‘It’s the willingness to keep pushing through new challenges, not shrink from them back into our comfort zone, that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.’

“As student-athletes, we are required to juggle not only athletics but school and a social life. And while each and every one of us in this room has a unique story to tell, the memories we've built here as Skidmore Thoroughbreds will last a lifetime.

“I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many friends, families and coaches that will forever have an impact on my life. Thank you for all being a part of my journey."

Damian Hammond

Men’s golf

From Ezulwini, Swaziland

“To be a part of a team in college is truly a life-changing experience, especially for golfers, since for many of us, this is the first time we ever get to be a part of a team.

“Being a part of a team has taught me numerous lessons over the last four years, but two of them resonate with me most.

“The first lesson is the value of time. On various occasions, people have told me that college will pass in the blink of an eye. But, I only really understood what this meant when I was standing at the 18th green with my fellow teammates.

“The second lesson I learned was the value of people. Playing golf prior to college, I was always told to make decisions that would best benefit myself. But, going through college, I was taught that one's own decisions will always impact those around you.

“I can promise you that after you graduate, you will not remember the micro-theory exam you pulled the all-nighter for second semester of sophomore year. Rather, you will remember both the highs and lows with your fellow teammates.

“At home we have a saying that means ‘you cannot choose your family.’ Like family, I was not able to choose the people who were on my team, but I can tell you today that it was an absolute blessing to get to know every member of the Skidmore College golf team.

“We will be family for a lifetime.”

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