Alumni eNewsletter: Knoxville alumni and friends give Gallaudet a warm welcome (Archives)

Photo: audience at Gallaudet Club
The Gallaudet menís and womenís basketball teams' games versus Johnson Bible College on December 15 inspired a rare opportunity for alumni to gather at a Gallaudet Club hosted at the Knoxville Center for the Deaf in Knoxville, Tenn. the evening before.
Photo: crowd watching baskeball game
Photo: cheering crowd of alumni at basketball game
Photo: group of alumni hold up welcome sign

The Gallaudet men’s and women’s basketball teams made a rare visit to the Southeast when they came to Knoxville, Tenn., on December 15 to play Johnson Bible College the following day.

Recognizing that the event offered a rare opportunity for alumni and locals to mingle with the team members, the Office of Alumni Relations contacted Paul Robertson, '92, the alumni liaison representative for eastern Tennessee, and along with the Gallaudet Athletic Department planned a Gallaudet Club event at the Knoxville Center for the Deaf. Door prizes were handed out and raffle tickets to win two seats to any NFL game of a person’s choice were sold.

The event itself was a huge success, with alumni and their friends coming early, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the basketball teams. It was evident that everyone was genuinely excited to be able to mingle with the Bison student-athletes and get updates on Gallaudet; the spirit was really high among the crowd.

After enjoying a pizza dinner, Barry Stafford, ’76, a social studies teacher at the Tennessee School for the Deaf and board president of the Knoxville Center of the Deaf, gave alumni a warm welcome. He explained that he had taught several of the players, and added that he was among the many people present who were thrilled to see the Bison in town, since the last time they came to Knoxville was 15 years ago, when the football team played against another college.

Assistant basketball coach Bobby Loeffler explained that the basketball teams’ decision to travel to Knoxville was due to a program where the team makes an effort to schedule games in the home towns of student-athletes who are seniors, knowing that their families and friends will be thrilled to see them play. This year, the basketball program has several seniors who are from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, so a decision was made to pick Tennessee, due to its central location. There is another senior on the team who is from New York City, so the Bison will be playing there on December 27 against Medgar Evans College and on the 29th against City College of New York.

Posted: 22 Dec 2008

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