The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) introduced the Dr. Judie Holland Legacy Award this afternoon at the CWSA Celebration Luncheon hosted by Honda as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of the CWSA.
The Dr. Judie Holland Legacy Award is named after the CWSA founder and leader in commemoration of Holland's 36 years of service. Holland helped create the CWSA in 1976, then named the Broderick Awards, and the program today includes a major presenting sponsor, Honda, for the last 31 years and the following awards: The Honda Cup (signifying the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year), 12 sports awards for the best female athlete in each of the 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, Division II Female Athlete of the Year, Division III Female Athlete of the Year, Honda Inspiration Award and the Irv Grossman Award of Merit.
The Judie Holland Legacy Award is designed to recognize those who have played a significant role in the success of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program. This award is not necessarily an annual award but is given in the years when the most deserving person is identified.
“I am humbled to have an award bearing my name with The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program,” stated Holland. “I was just doing what I thought was right for deserving young female athletes. What pleases me the most is that the program continues to exist and has become what it is today.”
"The entirety of the collegiate community has a lot to thank Judie Holland for,” said Jean Lenti Ponsetto, chair of the CWSA Executive Committee. “She championed the female athlete and insisted on their recognition when others did not yet think to do so. Naming the CWSA Legacy award for Judie Holland is the least we can do for the passion she showed; the effort she exerted and the dedication she exemplified over decades.”
“It is very rare to have a founder leading an organization for 36 years after its inception,” stated Voelz. “Judie Holland is that rare individual who created an awards program for the basic reason that the female athlete deserved it; whose passion persisted for 36 years because she believed in such a program and who has left a legacy that helped change the way society valued the outstanding female athlete.”
“In recognizing thousands of outstanding athletes under her leadership it is fitting that there be an award that will forever connect Judie Holland and The Collegiate Women Sports Awards. No doubt this award, named after Judie, will inspire others to give back to the CWSA even though her tenacity and selfless dedication may never be matched."
The CWSA, in its 41st year, honors the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.