ETSU presents first ever Spherion PathMaker Award to Buccaneer basketball alum Beth Bass

Thursday, April 24, 2008

            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 24, 2008) - The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association hosted the first annual Spherion PathMaker Award Luncheon Thursday inside the Grand Soldiers Ballroom at the Carnegie Hotel. The first recipient of the award was Beth Bass, former ETSU women's basketball player and current Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).


            The Spherion PathMaker Award will be given annually to an individual who has contributed significantly to the development and success of young women, and to the advancement of opportunities for all women in their chosen field of endeavor. The award specifically celebrates the importance that participation in sports has in developing character, confidence and self esteem for today's young women. Recognizing that the stereotype of the female has changed dramatically since the inception of Title IX legislation, we now have an entire generation of parents who overwhelmingly encourage their daughters as they participate in sports.


            Bass, who was the keynote speaker for the event but was unaware that she would be the inaugural recipient of the award, told the crowd of nearly 130 people that she is always honored to return to ETSU.


            "I have always been grateful for the opportunities I was given by this university, and for the athletic program to recognize my work in this way is very humbling," Bass said. "As I said earlier, I was never a stellar player so to be the first at anything is flattering, and this just fuels me to continue to give back, work hard and do my part to provide opportunities for girls and young women."


            Bass, a 1984 graduate of ETSU and former women's basketball player for the Lady Buccaneers, is currently the CEO for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). She has enjoyed a highly successful career as both a college athletic administrator and a marketing executive for worldwide athletic apparel companies such as Nike and Converse. A recipient of ETSU's Award of Honor, which recognizes Outstanding Alumni for their accomplishments and representation of the institution, Bass certainly represents the values that the Spherion PathMaker Award will represent.


            "We are so proud that Beth was able to return to ETSU and that she is the first ever recipient of this honor," said ETSU Associate Athletic Director Barbie Breedlove. "She is an example to both our student-athletes, as well as those of us already working in our chosen field, of all the opportunities that are now available to women thanks to legislation such as Title IX. The world has certainly changed in just the last 36 years, and Beth is a real world example of how things have improved."


            The event was sponsored by Spherion, a job placement and recruiting company with local offices in the Johnson City area. Spherion recognizes the need for stronger work force development and the benefits of being associated with programs that ensure the success of both female and male workers. Because there is a great deal of research showing that participation in athletic programs has a positive impact on educational achievement and can lead to higher wages later in life, Spherion is a proud supporter of the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.



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