Cathy Bender was a trailblazer in her family and for other high achieving student-athletes that would follow in her footsteps in the decades to come. A record-setter on the basketball court, true to form she became a success in business and a leader in the Nashville community.
- First person in her family to attend college.
- First African-American woman to receive full VU athletic scholarship.
- Second female to receive full athletic scholarship at Vanderbilt.
- Senior year was her strongest, setting team record for assists in a season (262) and game (14) against Tennessee.
- The Commodores improved every season and reached 20 wins for the first time in 1981-1982.
- Helped the team make post-season AIAW Tournament (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women), 1979-80 and 1980-81
- Active member of the Vanderbilt and Nashville community as a board member of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association, co-chairing the school’s first African-American endowed scholarship, and serving on the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority Board.