LEWISBURG, Pa. – Earlier this month, four Bucknell student-athletes joined peers from around the Patriot League and Ivy League and attended the Leadership in Athletics Conference, presented by Cornell’s Big Red Leadership Institute. “Leading through Adversity” was the theme of this year’s seminar, which was highlighted by a keynote address from Eric LeGrand, the former Rutgers football player who suffered a severe spinal-cord injury during a game against Army in 2010.

Representing the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute in Ithaca were Quinn Collison from men’s lacrosse, Callie DeWitt and Jamie DeWitt from women’s lacrosse, and Drew Newcomb from the Bison football team.

Sessions were conducted on internal and external adversity, facilitated by panelists with significant leadership experience from the world of academia, military and sports. The closing keynote speaker was Mark Tatum, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the National Basketball Association.

Each of the four Bucknell student-athletes who attended the conference shared their thoughts on the event.

Quinn Collison -- Men's Lacrosse

The Cornell Leadership Institute offered a wide variety of established speakers, all of whom had their own individual stories about overcoming adversity. Some of the ideas the speakers had were more pertinent to our daily lives as college athletes, and others were great tips for the business world. However, regardless of the situation, the messages were all the same throughout, which focused on finding one's self and being positive, consistent and hard working. It was neat to see such profound leaders, such as Mark Tatum, the COO of the NBA, give their own personal stories about adverse times in their lives. I felt connected during the conference and it was an overall positive experience for me as I try to help lead the lacrosse team to success during this 2016-17 season. 

Drew Newcomb -- Football

The Leadership in Athletics Conference was a great opportunity for us to expand on our strengths as leaders, and to help build on our weaknesses to enable us to be better all-around leaders. We were able to hear several great speakers and panelists and get their takes on leadership. The conference also gave us a good opportunity to talk to several athletes from other Patriot League and Ivy League schools and to hear differing viewpoints on leadership.

Callie DeWitt – Women’s Lacrosse

Attending the Cornell Leadership Institute’s conference was a truly eye-opening experience. You are in a room full of the most kind, courageous, interesting people, all of whom are telling you their stories and offering their insight.  I left every panel discussion and keynote speech feeling driven, and each discussion following was extremely valuable and inspiring. Being there made me realize that having the opportunity to learn how to “Lead Through Adversity” is priceless. The conference left a lasting impression, and gave me numerous life lessons and skills to apply to the rest of my life. I am excited to transfer my experience to my teammates. 

Jamie DeWitt – Women’s Lacrosse

I had a really great experience at Cornell. It was helpful to talk with athletes from different schools and hear their experiences and get their insights. The speakers were very motivational and gave me a ton of lessons that I can take back to my team.