When it came time to select a college, Winston (Win) Smith ’12 had one thing on his mind: baseball. The Texas 5A All State baseball player from Austin chose St. Edward’s because of its outstanding baseball coach, Rob Penders.
“Win started college never having achieved his academic potential,” say his parents, Leonard and Janis Smith. “Paradoxically, going for baseball changed him into a dedicated and accomplished student.” They credit Penders and the baseball program for motivating Win and teaching him how to study and break into academics in a strong way. Win is a dean’s list student and has received academic all-conference honors.
Delighted by Win’s transformation, the Smiths have become avid supporters of St. Edward’s. Speaking at a recent reception on campus, Leonard assured parents that they could not choose a finer university with a more nurturing environment. “St. Edward’s has given our son the confidence to move forward and walk through new doors without fear,” he said.
“We believe in getting involved by giving gifts of time and money to St. Edward’s,” Janis emphasizes. She and Leonard have lended their support to the university’s annual Alumni Baseball Game and other projects.
“Early on, we realized that St. Edward’s wasn’t like a large university with huge financial resources and administrative support for its athletic programs,” Leonard explains. “We understand that the school puts its money toward creating a full academic experience.” Recognizing that sports don’t always get the priority, Leonard asked Penders how he could help the baseball team.
For the last two seasons, Leonard coordinated with other team parents to provide the players with food and Gatorade at both home and away games. He has also contributed to the baseball program to help the team grow and remain competitive.
“St. Edward’s is a place where parents can make a huge difference,” say the Smiths. “And the best part is that St. Edward’s welcomes it!” They encourage new Hilltopper parents to seek out what needs doing. “Start with the areas that interest your student the most. We happened to select baseball and discovered that active support and a little Gatorade go a long way for an appreciative team.”
Find out about the many ways parents can support St. Edward’s. Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs.
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