SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - With the 2014-15 academic year officially underway, the Seton Hall Department of Athletics hosted its annual "Welcome Back" event for student-athletes on Tuesday afternoon.
The unofficial start to the year, the event is a "hallmark" of the H.A.L.L. (Helping Athletes Learn to be Leaders) Program, which now enters its second year aimed 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.
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 Tuesday, 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.
"There's a lot of pride and camaraderie among the teams at Seton Hall, so it's always nice to see your friends at a welcome back event, said baseball senior Sal Annunziata. "Getting together like this goes a long way in rekindling that Pirate Pride."
Father Hall's service was followed by a buffet style barbeque that afforded the attendees an opportunity to strengthen the bond that exists among them.
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.
"This event is really important to us, being right at the beginning of the year," Lyons said. "It affords us an opportunity to address all of the athletes together, wish everyone luck, having the commissioning and really just get together as a family.
"With so many changes occurring at Seton Hall, it's always nice getting updates from Mr. Lyons," said senior women's golfer Ali Kruse. "Under his leadership, we have seen a remarkable transformation in a number of areas in a relatively short period of time."