NEW LONDON, Conn.--Spearheaded by Class of 1993 athletes Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL Inc., and Luke Beatty, president of media brands at AOL, the Camel Athletics Club officially launched Jan. 20, at AOL Headquarters in New York City with more than 230 alumni athletes and coaches in attendance.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit and Quinnipiac's award-winning men's hockey coach Rand Pecknold '90 were also on hand, speaking and encouraging membership in the club, as were Katherine Wenk Christoffers '45 Director of Athletics Fran Shields and President Katherine Bergeron (view remarks).
"Of our nearly 27,000 alumni, over 5,000 people—or about 20 percent—were varsity athletes," Bergeron said. "You are a powerful force among our alumni community, and we need your leadership."
Dedicated to advancing varsity athletics at the College, the Camel Athletics Club aims to ensure that Camel teams have the margin of excellence necessary for competition at the highest level. The minimum annual gift to join the Camel Athletics Club is $250, which can be directed to the Camel Athletics Fund or any varsity team fund(s). Payments can also be made over time to reach the $250 level for membership.
During the kickoff event, Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State University, noted how this type of club at his alma mater provides lifelong connections with fellow alumni and builds community.
"It's not just about athletes and athletics," he said. "It's about making a difference in people's lives."
Pecknold agreed, noting how this initiative can significantly move an institution forward.
"Success in athletics drives academics, if we make the investment," he said. "It may not happen overnight but, if we can get coaches and programs the resources we need, it helps all of us."
A member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the nation, Connecticut College offers 28 varsity sports. Several varsity athletes have gone on to Olympic competition in sailing, rowing, soccer, track & field and swimming.