April 29, 2011
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's basketball displayed its continuing commitment to graduating student-athletes Friday as it dedicated The Dr. Venessa Ann Brown Academic Mentoring Center.
The Mentoring Center was dedicated in a brief ceremony Friday afternoon. It is located inside the recently-renovated SIUE men's basketball locker room and gives student-athletes a place to focus on academic matters.
SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester was pleased to unveil the plaque with the designation "Celebrating Excellence On and Off the Court" to honor Dr. Brown for her time, effort, and cash contribution to the program. Dr. Brown is an Assistant Provost and a member of the faculty of the Department of Social Work.
"She was the one who came up with the idea of the faculty mentoring program," said Forrester. "It went over really well to where a lot of the faculty was involved with our players. She saw what we were doing for our players in the fact that we were doing more than just the players getting a degree but building a relationship with faculty."
The faculty mentoring program links the student-athletes with faculty members across campus, encouraging both groups to share ideas and experiences.
Forrester said the new Mentoring Center is a meeting place for his student-athletes to work on academics.
"It's a place where our guys can go to get their studies done or work on papers without returning to the library or their residence hall. It's a place guys can go to get things done," said Forrester.
The room includes a group meeting space, a computer, and seating for academic use. Forrester said he was pleased with the gift.
"As much as she wants us to be successful on the basketball court, she wants us to be successful in the classroom. By what she has given, it is a tremendous statement that she's making," added Forrester.