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March, 2015

Congratulations to Women's Basketball

Congratulations to our women's basketball team for winning its first-ever BIG EAST regular season championship, going 15-3 in the conference, an incredible feat for any team. Our young women and coaching staff worked hard all season and their efforts have paid off. We had three student-athletes named All-BIG EAST, including Daisha Simmons, the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, Ka-Deidre Simmons and Tabatha Richardson-Smith. And our head coach Tony Bozzella was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year and is a top-10 finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award.

He has truly made a positive impact on this program, taking this team from 11 wins to 26 wins in just two years and serving as a great ambassador for this university.

Our women's team is exciting group to watch, and I hope you'll be supporting them as they make their run through the BIG EAST and NCAA Tournaments!

It's Conference Tournament Time

The calendar has turned to March and that means it is now the most exciting time: March Madness! Please join me in wishing our men's and women's basketball teams the best of luck as they begin their quest for the NCAA Tournament at the BIG EAST Championship. Our women are the No. 1 seed and will face either No. 8 Marquette or No. 9 Providence at Allstate Arena in Chicago on Sunday. Our men still have one more regular season game left before playing their first conference tournament game at Madison Square Garden next week. Use these links to purchase tickets: MEN'S TOURNAMENT | WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT

For Pirates fans coming to Madison Square Garden, we have two exciting Pirate Blue events to attend. Our annual Pirate Blue BIG EAST Reception will take place Wednesday, March 11 from 4:30-6:30 at Hudson Station Bar and Grill, located at 440 9th Avenue between 34th and 35 Streets. The price is $40 per person for open bar and hors d'oeuvres by reservation or $50 at the door. Reserve your spot now.

Also on Tuesday, March 10 from 6-8:30 p.m., Pirate Blue will host an exclusive fundraiser at the world renowned Grand Havana Room, Manhattan's most exclusive cigar room, hosted by Seton Hall alumnus Joseph Abruzzese '69. A minimum donation of $500 is required to attend the event, which will include food and beverages. Space is limited so be sure to contact Jay Judge 973-275-2202 or jay.judge@shu.edu to reserve your spot today.

Look forward to seeing you at the tournament games!

Swimming has strong showing at BIG EAST Championships

Our men's and women's swimming & diving teams turned in outstanding performances at the BIG EAST Championship two weeks ago. The teams combined to earn seven gold medals, including a program record five for the men's team. Congratulations to Gabby Signorelli, who swept the women's diving events to earn BIG EAST Most Outstanding Female Diver honors. Congrats also to Ben Mitchell, who notched the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Male Diver award. And congratulations to our first-year diving coach Pete DeNoble, who was tabbed the BIG EAST Diving Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's teams.

Good luck to Gabby, who will now represent Seton Hall at the NCAA Zone A Diving Championship later this month.

Construction Update

We are reaching the finish line of our latest construction project as part of the Pride & Excellence Campaign. In January, we unveiled our new varsity locker rooms. Now we are close to unveiling our new varsity weight room and film room. Flooring has been installed, and new weight room equipment is being delivered and installed this week! Also final approvals are underway for graphics as we continue to brand our facilities so that no one will ever walk in not knowing they are in the home of Seton Hall Athletics.

Our new weight room is going to be a source of pride for our athletics department, and it will be sure to provide a better student-athlete experience. With our talented strength & conditioning staff at the helm, we are sure to be seeing bigger, faster and stronger student-athletes here at Seton Hall very soon! And our new film room will be a big hit with our coaches and student-athletes, who strive to learn more about themselves and their opponents in an effort to get better and win.

Once again I can't stress enough how important our Pirate Blue donors have been throughout the Pride & Excellence Campaign. Your generosity and commitment to our student-athletes is paramount, and we are humbled by the support.

Leadership Forum Recap

Last month, we hosted our fourth annual Leadership Forum, which serves as an opportunity for our student-athletes to learn from and interact with distinguished Seton Hall alumni who have gone on to successful careers in their respective fields.

This year's panelists featured the President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass Medical Center, Mary Ellen Clyne Ph.D, Co-Founder of the executive search firm Adison & Partners, Jim DiPietropolo, Hank D'Alessandro, a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and member of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents, and Mark Ganton, another University Board of Regents member who currently serves as Principal at Brian J. Ganton & Associates.

I want to thank all the panelists for their participation. These type of events, one of the many professional development opportunities the H.A.L.L. Program presents each year, are extremely beneficial to our student-athletes, who are craving guidance and insight on how to enhance their college experience and better prepare themselves for life after graduation.

To read more about the event and watch the video, please click here.

Reading with the Pirates

On Feb. 27, Seton Hall student-athletes from four different sports represented the athletics department by participating in "Read Across America," the national reading initiative celebrating the famous author, Dr. Seuss' birthday. The outing at Lincoln Avenue Elementary School in Orange, N.J., was part of our "Reading with the Pirates" initiative put on by the H.A.L.L. Program.

The student-athletes donned the classic red and white striped top hats from the popular Dr. Seuss book "The Cat in the Hat" to read to Kindergarten, first, and second grade classes and a total of over 185 students.

I'm always impressed by our student-athletes' commitment to the Seton Hall University mission, and community service is certainly a big part. They always welcome the opportunity to give back, and a program like "Read Across America" is the perfect way to engage an audience of children who look up to our athletes and see them as role models.

The Pirates will next be at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Orange, N.J. on March 20 to continue the "Reading with the Pirates" program.

To read more about our visit to Lincoln Avenue Elementary, click here.

Successful Pirate Varsity Club Reunion

Last Saturday at our men's basketball game vs. Creighton, hundreds of former Seton Hall student-athletes and friends gathered for the annual Pirate Varsity Club (PVC) Reunion. Every Seton Hall sport was represented, and each former student-athlete also received an exclusive Pirate Varsity Club Under Armour T-shirt.

To all our PVC members, be sure to keep an eye out for the "Pirate Pride Challenge," a bracket-style contest between all current and former student-athletes to help their teams. Every two weeks teams will be matched up against another team, and compete for the higher participation rate from all current and former student-athletes. It was launched on Feb. 28, the night of the PVC Event, and will run through April 30. Statistics are cumulative throughout the PPC, and do not reset at the beginning of each month, as teams match up against different opponents.

You can make your gift online at www.piratepridechallenge.com.