(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon Department of Athletics hosted its annual Senior Dinner on Tuesday, March 5, as coaches and administrators honored the athletes for outstanding contributions to the athletics program and university community.
The program not only recognized the seniors for their contributions and commitment to sport and campus life, but included informative presentations about mentoring in the community and ensuring a strong financial future.
Leaving his thoughts and professional experience on the minds of Tartan seniors for the 11th year was industry expert and 1985 CMU graduate, Roger Roble. The former football student-athlete founded the wealth management firm Roble, Belko & Company in 2000 and made a presentation regarding the importance of personal financial planning.
Former head cross country and track and field coach Dario Donatelli also returned to the Senior Dinner this year. A Tartan athlete himself who graduated in 1981, Donatelli spent 28 years mentoring student-athletes on the running trails while they navigated life at Carnegie Mellon. He parlayed that passion into working with children through Big Brothers & Big Sisters and spoke to the senior class about what mentorship can do for others but also for themselves.
New to the program this year was Angela Blanton, Chief Financial Officer of Carnegie Mellon University. Blanton spoke about finding your passion and being a leader in your profession.
Part of the athletics department’s Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program, the Senior Dinner is a chance to celebrate the impending graduates, as well as provide the senior athletes with practical information and tools for their post-college lives.
“I really enjoyed the dinner,” said men’s soccer senior Zack Masciopinto. “The three speakers were different in style and content, and gave great takeaways that I was glad were reiterated to us.”
Following the presentations, the three speakers answered a number of questions from the audience. The students took advantage of the chance to learn more about their financial futures.
“The Senior Dinner is one of my favorite events that we do for the student-athletes,” said Associate Director of Athletics Kim Kelly, who oversee the Senior Dinner program and student-athlete leadership development. “I think it is very important for us to send our seniors off with skills and ideas to help advance them in their future plans. This event signifies what we are trying to do with the Leadership Development Program and that is to give our student-athletes the skills and tools that they need to be successful in all that they do.”
Director of Athletics Josh Centor opened the program by expressing his gratitude to the seniors for the way they have represented the university.
“The introduction from Josh was incredible,” added Masciopinto. “Hearing about the success of the entire senior class was phenomenal. We accomplished a lot and we should certainly be proud of the legacy we’ve left on CMU Athletics.”