USSA Renews Partnership with Westminster

Apr 23, 2015

April 23, 2015 SALT LAKE CITY - Athletes of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding will continue to have access to Best in the World education opportunities with the renewal of the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association's partnership with Salt Lake City's Westminster College. The new four-year agreement will help support athlete education leading into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang and the 2019 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Park City, USSA RenewalUT. Westminster's dedicated student athletes are successful on the slopes and in the classroom. This season, 22 Westminster athletes competed in FIS World Championships and the X Games, bringing home a total of eight medals. The 48 athletes currently enrolled at Westminster carry a 3.65 average GPA. This spring, seven athletes will complete their degrees-, the largest graduating class the program has seen since its inception in 2005. "We are very pleased to continue our partnership with USSA, which provides our student athletes the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams while still competing in their respective sports," said Steve Morgan, acting Westminster president. "I continue to be impressed at how well these athletes perform on the slopes as well as in the classroom. This program makes higher education attainable to athletes who may not have had the time to pursue a college degree otherwise." Since 2005, more than 130 U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding athletes have attended Westminster College through a special tuition grant program, which allows them to continue their education without having to sacrifice their athletic dreams. U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athlete Heather McPhie, who has been attending classes on and off for the past six years, plans to graduate from Westminster in 2016 with a degree in psychology. "Westminster has been a great place to pursue an education during my athletic career," said McPhie. "They go out on a limb to help us and are so understanding of our schedules. They help us figure out when we can fit classes in and pair us with professors that can be flexible with our lifestyles. I love stretching my mind, the small classes and the atmosphere at the college. I'm really grateful for the partnership." McPhie, along with fellow Westminster student athletes Maddie Bowman, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Alexi Mickinski and Faye Guilini, will be in attendance at a celebration of the partnership on Thursday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m. in the Watson Board Room of the Giovale Library on Westminster's campus in Salt Lake City.   HIGHLIGHTS
  • The USSA has signed a new four-year renewal agreement with Salt Lake City's Westminster College.
  • This school year, 48 USSA athletes were enrolled at Westminster. Seven athletes will complete their degrees this spring, the largest graduating class in the programs history.
  • This season, 22 Westminster athletes competed in FIS World Championships and the X Games, bringing home a total of eight medals.
  • 23 Westminster College's USSA athletes were named to the US Olympic Team. This represented 10% of the US Olympians that went to Sochi.
  • The strategic partnership between Westminster and the USSA began in 2005 and has helped over 130 national team athletes combine elite level training with a college education.
  • Located in Salt Lake City, Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning.
QUOTES Steven Morgan, Acting President, Westminster College The athletes of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding bring a strong competitive spirit and sense of pride to Westminster. I continue to be impressed at how well these athletes perform on the slopes as well as in the classroom. This program makes higher education attainable to athletes who may not have had the time to pursue a college degree otherwise. Heather McPhie, U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Athlete, Westminster Student Westminster has been a great place to pursue an education during my athletic career. They go out on a limb to help us and are so understanding of our schedules. They help us figure out when we can fit classes in and pair us with professors that can be flexible with our lifestyles. I love stretching my mind, the small classes and the atmosphere at the college. I'm really grateful for the partnership. Tiger Shaw, President and CEO, USSA Our partnership with Westminster is an important factor in supporting athletic success and providing a well-rounded program for our athletes. Westminster's ability to work with the athletes and determine a curriculum that works with competition schedules is directly correlated with success in the classroom. The partnership will be a great asset to our athletes as they continue to prepare for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

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Krista DeAngelis and Arikka Von
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About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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