April 17, 2021

2021 DIII Week

Dear UMW Colleagues,

April 5-11 marks the NCAA’s Division III week, a national celebration of Division III student-athletes and their commitment to academic and athletic excellence. Division III student-athletes receive no athletic scholarships whatsoever. Like all of our students, UMW student-athletes learn valuable lessons in the classroom and in their chosen activities. I’d like to highlight what two UMW alumni have told me about how athletics influenced them after Mary Washington and into their careers.

Jin Wong '97

Jin Wong ’97

In order of graduation from UMW, Jin Wong (Business, Class of 1997, Baseball) currently works as Assistant General Manager for Baseball Operations for the Kansas City Royals.

Being a student-athlete at UMW, I came to understand the importance of time management and prioritization. Sports encourages teamwork, nurtures leadership skills, satisfies our competitive natures, and helps us understand how we cope with pressure and expectations. I firmly believe that these skills I developed while a member of the baseball team proved extremely valuable for me in life after UMW.

Shelby Harris, (Economics, Class of 2016, Tennis) is the Private Events Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Shelby Harris '16

Shelby Harris ’16

Being a student-athlete at UMW prepared me in multiple ways for life post-college. I learned the importance of time management and organization from when I had to balance school work with practices. These skills have transferred over to my career where I have to multitask and adhere to deadlines. Being a captain of my collegiate team taught me leadership and communication skills which have been key throughout my personal and professional life. The early morning workouts and the late nights traveling for matches instilled in me the importance of working hard and not being afraid of long hours. Especially when I started my career right out of college, I was always willing to come in as early or stay as late as needed to get the job done. 

Most importantly, being a part of a team at UMW gave me a family that I am still close with years after we have all graduated. Having a strong support system and network post-college has really been beneficial for all of us as we have journeyed through different careers in all regions of the country. For these reasons, I am super grateful for my time at UMW as a student-athlete! 

I hope you’ll join me in applauding our student-athletes, as well as their coaches and trainers, as they continue to develop life-long skills here at UMW.

Best wishes,

Mary Beth Mathews, Faculty Athletics Representative, Professor of Religious Studies