Aug 28, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - The Seton Hall Department of Athletics hosted its annual "Welcome Back" event for student-athletes on Wednesday afternoon, bringing together members of Seton Hall's 14 varsity teams as the 2013-14 academic year and their respective seasons get underway.
With the institution of The H.A.L.L. (Helping Athletes Learn to be Leaders) Program earlier this summer, Seton Hall Athletics continued to make strides in providing a truly balanced student-athlete experience that honors the University mission of molding servant leaders and in accordance with this goal; the event, which is an enduring tradition at SHU, featured a new twist this year.
"I think it is vital for the types of programs we offer through athletics to coincide with the vision of the university and its catholic tradition as we look to foster the overall growth of our student-athletes," said Assistant Athletic Director/Student-Athlete Development & Leadership Roberto Sasso who was instrumental in implementing and now oversees The H.A.L.L. Program.
One of the five tenets of The H.A.L.L. Program is "spiritual development," as the program aims to further the University's catholic mission and traditions through offering a number of voluntary activities and engagement opportunities. On Wednesday, Reverend Warren Hall, the Director of the Campus Ministry and ardent supporter of all of the Pirates' programs, offered a commissioning service to the student-athlete contingent as well as the coaches in attendance, reinforcing the importance of sportsmanship and representing the university with pride.
"One of the things that our student-athletes were able to take away from what Father Hall said was how sports and spirituality go together," said Sasso.
Father Hall's service was followed by a buffet style barbeque that afforded the attendees an opportunity that afforded the attendees an opportunity to strengthen the bond that exists among them.
"This was one of the few occasions that we are able to get all of our teams in one place," he added. "I think events like this where the students can get together after the program and interact really add to the sense of camaraderie that makes Seton Hall a special place."
The event was led off by a brief statement by Seton Hall Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons who welcomed the student-athletes back to campus and touched on all the projects in progress aimed at better equipping them to succeed at The Hall and beyond.
"The event was great for us as student-athletes," said Joseph Martinelli, a sophomore on the men's cross country team. "It's always nice to be all together and it was good to hear from our Athletic Director on all the improvements that are being made with us in mind."
This is the first of many such events on a packed H.A.L.L. Program schedule for 2013-14 as in its inaugural year; the program strives to set a standard in student-athlete development.
On Wednesday, September 11, noted presenter Elaine Pasqua will speak to Seton Hall student-athletes about "Surviving the Party," addressing the effects of high-risk behaviors.