Joan Benoit Samuelson Featured Speaker at celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon
Olympic Gold Medal winner and two-time Boston Marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson was the featured speaker at the 14th Annual Celebrating Women's Athletics Luncheon at the Events Center at Binghamton University yesterday. Samuelson was the first-ever women's Olympic marathon champion when she won the gold medal in the 1984 games held in Los Angeles. She won the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983. She has been inducted into several Hall's of Fame including the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004.
The event was attended by just under 800 people, the most in its 14 year history. Heading into this year's luncheon proceeds raised totaled over $450,000. Funds raised through the luncheon go to help fund women's athletic scholarships at Binghamton University. Ten such scholarships were awarded last year.
M & T Bank was the title sponsor with numerous other businesses and organizations providing support. Volleyball standout and senior Erin Shultz was the student speaker and talked about her academic and athletic career at the University. The fund-raising luncheon is organized by the Women's Luncheon Organizing Committee which is part of the Binghamton Bearcats Athletic Association.