POTOMAC, Md. – Eagles fans know that Charlie Jones can bury a couple free throws with a basketball game on the line.
Learning that skill and others is the intention behind American University Athletics' annual Etiquette Dinner, part of a life skills series to ensure all graduating student-athletes reach their potential on and off the court.
The four-course dinner held Sunday night at the TPC Potomac at Avenel's clubhouse where guests learned etiquette and business networking from Michele Pollard Patrick of National Protocol. The highlight of the evening was news that future events would be funded by an endowed gift of $500,000 from Dr. Stephanie Bennett-Smith and her late husband Orin Smith.
Bennett-Smith chose to honor her husband's memory by endowing the dinner because the university's Life Skills Program has been important to both of them. The program supports all athletes, regardless of sport, and provides learning opportunities that benefit student-athletes throughout their lives. Bennett-Smith's gift recognizes the important life lessons gained through athletic discipline and competitive training, lessons that have prepared AU Eagles for future success. The Orin R. Smith Life Skills Etiquette Dinner extends those important attributes.
"You are the future, and doing what we can to help you achieve that future is perhaps the most important thing we could do."
The event is the culmination of AU student-athletes' involvement in the life skills program. Through their four years, student-athletes learn time management and study skills, job-seeking skills, and etiquette techniques to prepare for life after college athletics.