Valkyries Continue Momentum by Unveiling New Athletic Logo and Adding Lacrosse and Swimming
On December 6, the Converse College Valkyrie Athletics program unveiled its new logo and announced the addition of lacrosse to its roster of sports. The unveiling and announcement were made from center court of the College’s Weisiger Center during halftime of the Valkyries basketball game with Brevard College. The College announced the addition of a second sport, swimming, earlier this week.
A member of NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas, the Converse Valkyries already field teams in basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball. Lacrosse and swim teams will compete next year in the 2008-2009 season.
“Swimming and lacrosse are a natural fit for Converse,” said Converse Athletic Director Joy Couch. “These athletes are characteristically the type of students who fit well with Converse – students with very good grade point averages and who work hard at achieving a balance between commitment to their sport, doing well in the classroom and being an engaged member of the community.”
The addition of lacrosse was made possible by a joint gift of $275,000 from three Charlotte, N.C.-based Converse alumnae, who are also members of the Board of Trustees, and their husbands: Lisa Bell Weisiger (class of 1984) and Ed Weisiger, Jane Spratt McColl (class of 1960) and Hugh McColl, and Jane Boatwright Schwab (class of 1977) and Nelson Schwab. The gift will cover startup costs of the lacrosse program including the hiring of a coach, field enhancements and equipment.
“We were inspired by the idea of jumpstarting a program in which Converse has extraordinary potential to take a leadership role – both in the conference and the region,” explained Jane Schwab. “Women’s lacrosse is an increasingly popular sport at the high school level, and Converse will be on the cutting edge of developing the sport at the collegiate level in the Southeast. We were compelled to support the energy and growth of the Converse athletic program.”
Components of a successful Valkyrie swim team are already in place. Converse has a competitive pool, complete with locker rooms and viewing bleachers. Spartanburg, S.C. native and Converse Assistant Athletic Director Susan Kunkler is set to coach the team. Kunkler swam competitively at the University of Georgia from 1985-87 where she was named an All-American and competed in the Olympic trials. She has coached the Fernwood summer league team the past four years.
“The Converse athletics program is on fire!” said Converse President Betsy Fleming. “The tremendous growth over the past two years demonstrates the priority we have placed on building a winning program. With our full membership status in an NCAA Division II conference, the renaming of our athletic mascot and the new athletic booster program, there is great energy and excitement about what’s going on here and how that momentum can grow. It is exhilarating that others are stepping up to make major investments in Converse athletics.”
The addition of lacrosse and swimming are the latest advancements in the Converse Valkyrie athletic program, which competes in NCAA Division II athletics – the highest level of any women’s college.