Karen Grygiel

Women's Bowling

My experience as a Vanderbilt student-athlete was humbling, exciting, inspiring and challenging. It gave me confidence, resilience, determination and ability to focus under pressure. It taught me essential life-skills that would allow me to be successful in my future career and leadership roles. Most of all it afforded me unforeseen opportunities that have lasted a lifetime.

This program was a hope and vision I had back during my role as SAAC President, so to see it come to fruition and be asked to sit on the board of advisors, is a dream come true. I am truly honored to be part of it. The Black & Gold Club will open so many “dores” (pun-intended) for student-athletes and give them access to the Vanderbilt Athletic Family in a new way. I say family instead of network, because that is how I always refer to my Vanderbilt athletic connections, whether they be teammates, coaches or administrators. Even now, years after I graduated, I know that I always have my Commodore Family to turn to when I need them. That is where I feel this program can be a great resource not just for current student-athletes to receive mentorship, but also a space the entire Commodore Family can reconnect, support one another in times of need, celebrate, collaborate and continue to help mold a better future.