Ten for Ten is officially in full swing, with five more days to go! Many student-athletes have already stepped up to the plate and given back to support their teams and UMW Athletics. Apart from displaying dedication and leadership, a $10 donation qualifies current student-athletes for UMW's Eagle Club - the booster organization that has raised over 1.5 million dollars in gifts over the last four years to maximize opportunities and strengthen support services for Mary Washington student-athletes.
Two days ago, we heard from softball captain Kara Deppe '19 about why she chooses to give back. Today we're focusing on one of our most generous young alumni and former tennis player, Evan Charles '15.
Tell us a bit about your life right now. Where are you living; what are you focusing on?
I just moved down to Saint Petersburg, Florida two months ago. Post-graduation from UMW, I went back to school and got my master's in Sports Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue my dream of working in the sports industry. After completing my master's program, I was offered the position of Entries Coordinator with the WTA (Women's Tennis Association), which is the organization that runs the professional women's tennis tour. I am mainly responsible for handling the tournament player lists (i.e. player entries/withdrawals, determining the players accepted into the Main Draw/Qualifying/or on the alternate list, and communicating these lists to tournament directors and on-site staff).
How has the UMW athletic program influenced you as a person and as an athlete?
Playing college tennis at Mary Washington provided me with lifelong friendships and countless memories. Being a student-athlete also shaped my character through enhancing my time management skills to balance academics and athletics as well as by forcing me to overcome obstacles such as injuries and tough defeats.
What is your favorite memory from your time as an athlete at UMW?
My favorite memory as a UMW tennis player was our annual spring break trip to Newport Beach, California; I really enjoyed the comradery that was built with my teammates through this experience (plus staying in a house on the beach didn't hurt).
For many young alumni, giving back is not at the top of their minds. What inspired you to do so?
I am very grateful to Coach Helbling for making me a part of the UMW tennis family and for providing me with a great athletic experience. I decided to give back because I want our current student-athletes to be successful and to have an awesome four years like I had.
Did any experience in particular demonstrate to you the importance of supporting your athletic program, and UMW as a whole?
Our annual alumni weekend taught me the importance of supporting my athletic program and the university as a whole. Having the opportunity to build relationships with former players, to hear about their experiences as UMW athletes, and to realize their impact on our program influenced me to pay it back to our current student-athletes.
The Eagle Club's mission is to "maximize opportunities and strengthen support-services for UMW student-athletes." How did you see this mission come to reality for you and your teammates during your time at Mary Wash?
The Eagle Club's mission drastically impacted my experience as a student-athlete for the better as the donations of alumni, parents, and the local community to the Eagle Club helped our program purchase gear such as uniforms, shoes, and strings, assisted with travel expenses and team meals, as well as funded our annual spring break trip.
Is there anything else you'd like to say to current student athletes?
Live in the present and try to enjoy each moment because time flies and your four years will be over before you know it.
Current Student-Athletes can give today online by clicking on the tab below. In order to track your gift for the Ten for Ten Challenge, please be sure to write "Ten for Ten" in the "Comments:" section under "Additional Information".