Each February, Carnegie Mellon’s senior student-athletes gather for a special dinner to celebrate their significant contributions to the university community. In addition to the celebration, the seniors receive words of wisdom regarding financial planning and life after sport from experts in their respective fields. The dinner/workshop is the capstone event of the department’s Excellence Forum.
Industry expert Roger Roble has attended the senior dinner each year and makes a presentation regarding the importance of personal financial planning. A 1985 Carnegie Mellon graduate, Roble was a football student-athlete and founded the wealth management firm Roble, Belko & Company in 2000.
Former head cross country and track and field coach Dario Donatelli, a 1981 graduate of Carnegie Mellon, has spoken to the senior class about the importance of being a mentor. Donatelli has been a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters for _ years and shares his experiences to expose the student athletes to the possibilities of being a mentor. Donatelli believes that mentoring is building positive, encouraging relationships with those who wouldn't normally have that big brother/sister, coach or even a parent in their life. "My goal is to show our highly qualified, highly motivated students of this need in the communities they will live in and hope they will take the next step," says Donatelli.
Part of the athletics department’s Excellence Forum, the Senior Dinner is not only a chance to celebrate, but also an opportunity to provide the impending graduates with practical information and tools for their post-college lives.
Reactions from past seniors:
“The past four years have gone by very fast and the banquet was a nice way to reflect on our hard work and accomplishments as a class. It was invaluable getting to hear from three different people that all have a connection to us through the school, through sports, and through their experiences.” - Men's Basketball athlete, Seth Cordts '15
“I thought the program was very inspirational as well as very humbling. We need to be thankful for the opportunity to participate in athletics at a prestigious school, remember we can have an impact on youth and be ready to understand the importance of investing and saving our money for the future.” - Women's Track and Field athlete, Sasha Spalding '15
“It was nice to get advice from two highly successful alumni. They treated us like adults, and I think that's important because we're all about to be out there on our own as adults. I think it was helpful to stress the importance of financial planning after graduation. It's something everyone should do, but most people don't learn enough about it early on.” - Football and Track and fFeld athlete, Liam McGrath '13
“The speakers were fantastic and very informative. It is great to know that our athletics department values informing senior athletes on financial planning for the future.” - Women's Swimming and Diving athlete, Hannah Gonzalez '12