September 25, 2022

Ultimate Subaru Spotlight: Women’s Lacrosse Faculty Liaison Gwen Hale

Each month, a UMW Athletics Faculty Liaison will be featured in the Ultimate Subaru Spotlight. The faculty liaison program partners a UMW faculty member with every UMW intercollegiate athletic team to strengthen support networks and increase resources for student-athlete success.  Ultimate Subaru is committed to the growth and education of UMW Eagles, their hometown team, and strives to foster the same values of community as the UMW Faculty Liaison program.  Faculty Liaisons will serve as mentors and role models to student-athletes while being involved in team activities. For more information about the program contact Faculty Athletic Representative, Dr. Lynne Richardson.

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1.      Faculty Liaison’s Name: Gwendolyn Hale 

2.      Sport: Women’s Lacrosse

3.      Years at UMW: Four

4.      Position/Title: Writing Center and Writing Intensive Program Director

5.      What was your favorite sport growing up? Briefly describe your favorite memory playing or watching it.  My favorite sport growing up was baseball. I used to go to a lot of Atlanta Braves games with my family, but I also played softball for years in school. I always played first base and was the fourth hitter on the roster. (Guess who could hit the ball out of the ballfield but not run fast?) I grew up in the South, so lacrosse was not something that was regularly played in our schools.

My favorite memory of baseball would be that I was with my family and not on the ballfield. One summer, I got chickenpox, and even though I could not play, I wanted to see my teammates play. Given that I was still contagious, my mother took me to the ballfield and we sat outside the fence in the outfield on a hillside in the shade.  Even as I itched, my mother and I yelled for my team.

Also, my brother wanted to be the pitcher for his baseball team. My dad worked a lot, so my mother would go into the backyard with my brother and me and help us practice. As my mom squatted as the catcher, my brother nailed her in the eye with a baseball, causing a huge black eye. My mother worked to hide the black eye not because she was ashamed but because she did not want to embarrass my brother. She always worked to support us in all that we did.

6.      Where is your favorite place around town to get a bite to eat? I love going to Sammy T’s or Spirits downtown on Caroline simply because I can take my dog Doodle with me.

 7.      If you could pick one superpower to have, what would it be and why? I would have the power to grow amazing, lush grass on my lawn instead of having to be out nearly every day feeding, watering, and cutting it. I would be the “Grass Master.”

 8.      Other than the sport you partnered with, what is your next favorite sport and why?

I love, love, love hockey.  Having lived in Nashville, I used to go and see the Predators play with my friend Smallwood a lot. I love the action—the grace that is applied while ice skating and controlling a puck. Also, I would be lying if I did not admit that the fights are a pretty awesome part of the game as well. Having seats on the glass when the players hit the glass in front of you is pretty amazing.  Plus, if I could play any position in hockey, it would be the goalie.

9.      If you were a Head Coach and could pick three words to motivate your team and hang in their locker room which words would you choose?  Honor, Determination, & Loyalty.

10.  What does a great leader look like to you? A great leader is the person who not only tells others how to go about a task, but shows them by doing. A great leader will never ask someone to do something they will not do themselves. I learned this not only by watching my mother but by working at McDonald’s. Others respect you more if you not only give clear guidance but also help accomplish the task by getting your hands dirty. Finally, a great leader always offers praise and forgives quickly.

11.  What is a must read for UMW Student-Athletes?  Dick Gregory’s autobiography Nigger. He discusses not only his triumphs as an athlete but also the obstacles he faced regarding his race and socioeconomic status.

12.  What is the best advice you have ever heard given to a college graduate?

Even though you may be desperate for a job, remember that you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Be yourself because you do not want to hide elements of yourself and not be comfortable in your work environment. Everything else will fall into place and you will find your tribe.

13.  Finally, if you were hanging out on Ball Circle picking the brains of four professional/famous athletes (living or deceased), who would they be?

Greg Louganis, Jackie Robinson, Martina Navratilova, & Balian Buschbaum

Ultimate Subaru, celebrating 10 years of service to the Fredericksburg community, is proud to be a supporter of UMW athletics.  Call Ultimate Subaru today at (540) 898-6200 or come on in and visit us at 5160 Jefferson Davis Hwy, near Four Mile Fork. Find us online at www.driveultimatesubaru.com.

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