Christendom’s Athletic Department recently created the “Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Scholar-Athlete Scholarship” in memory of the college’s late athletic director, Tom Vander Woude, who died in 2008 saving the life of one of his sons. This four-year scholarship is awarded to one freshman each year, beginning this year with the incoming class of 2014.
The student athletes submitted essays, transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and their statistics from all four years of high school to the members of the scholarship committee. The members, in turn, chose the candidate they felt best displayed the ideal of a Christendom Student-Athlete as set by Vander Woude.
This year, the scholarship was awarded to Mary Barbale of Charlton, MA. One of ten children, Barbale was home-schooled throughout high school, maintaining a stellar GPA while playing basketball, soccer, volleyball, and even running track during her senior year for a local high school. She made The Southern Worcester County League All-star team in three sports, leading the basketball team to the State finals during her junior year. Barbale’s character outside of athletics—exemplified in her leadership in her local community—is what singled her out among the other applicants for the scholarship.
In addition to her athletic commitments, Barbale was a volunteer religious education teacher in her parish. Her pursuit of excellence in all these fields—sports, academics, and leadership—embodied the type of athlete that the scholarship committee seeks to recognize at Christendom.
“We are delighted to award this first scholarship to Mary,” says current Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude. “Her Catholic faith and her character affect every aspect of her life, from sports to academics. We look forward to the positive impact that she will have on the College community.”
In an effort to raise funds for the scholarship, Christendom’s Athletic Department hosted The Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Golf Tournament at the Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal, Va., on October 8. Ranked as the 3rd best golf course in Virginia, Blue Ridge Shadows provided nearly 100 players with the opportunity to raise money for this worthy cause while enjoying a great game of golf in the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.
The tournament was a tremendous success. Sponsored by National Vendor Management Services, Inc.(Manassas, VA), along with K&B Underwriters, Inc,. Paladin Financial Group, Renaissance Montessori School, and many others, the event is one that alumni and benefactors will look forward to annually.