Lehigh's Astor, Lafayette's Golini win 2013-14 Patriot League Outstanding Leadership and Character Awards

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Brooke Astor and Alec Golini
Brooke Astor and Alec Golini

June 17, 2014

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League has selected one male and one female as its Outstanding Leadership and Character Award winners for the 2013-2014 academic year, following a vote of the League's senior woman administrators. A pair of 2014 graduates, Lafayette men's soccer player Alec Golini and Lehigh track and field athlete Brooke Astor, were chosen for their contributions to the school, community and athletic teams.

The Patriot League has established an Award of Leadership and Character to recognize and honor those who demonstrate excellence in leadership and service while participating in Patriot League athletics. All Patriot League student-athletes and a team as a whole associated with a member institution's intercollegiate athletic program are eligible for the honor, which was first awarded in 2012.

Astor becomes the fifth Mountain Hawks athlete to be recognized, following Chris Lum and Jana Basubas (2013) and Michael Colvin and Rebecca Guman (2012). The Milltown, N.J. native won seven Patriot League Championship events and set five Lehigh University program records in her four-year career. A two-time team captain, Astor was named "Athlete of the Meet" at the Indoor Patriot League championships in 2013 and 2014.

At Lehigh's annual sports Convocation Program in late April, Astor was named the Graduating Female Athlete of the Year and also was awarded the Mary O'Hurley Leadership Award. The O'Hurley Award goes to the female athlete who best represents the Lehigh traditions of leadership, character, athleticism, scholarship, service, sportsmanship, a cooperative attitude and enjoyment of sports.

Astor passed through every phase of Lehigh's comprehensive Leadership Academy and was a three-year member of the Student-Athlete Council. In this role, Astor was a lead coordinator for Pink Week events for breast cancer awareness, Coaches vs. Cancer events at basketball games, the Student-Athlete Kickoff BBQ and the annual Adopt-A-Family Christmas holiday fundraiser.

In recognition of her maturity, care for the university and community, value of diversity and respect for others, Astor was one of seven students selected to serve on a committee charged by the President and Provost to discuss and identify strategies to address challenging issues on campus during a time when tensions surrounding bias incidents were high.

A captain for the Leopards and a 2012 Men's Soccer All-Patriot League first team member, Golini is a vocal leader who brings a unique combination of skill and toughness to the pitch. The Lumberton, N.J. native had three game-winning goals as a junior and also netted one during a 2-1 victory over Binghamton during his senior campaign.

In 2012, Golini founded a non-profit organization called Athletes CARE (Creating Abundant Relief Effort). The mission of the group is to provided food, clothing, necessities, care and compassion to the needy, hungry and homeless. In the past year, Athletes Care has assisted with feeding the homeless of Philadelphia on Christmas morning, raising money to outfit an apartment for a Sixth Street Shelter family in Easton and hosting a free youth soccer clinic in which participants are asked to donate one canned food item that is given to a shelter or soup kitchen.

A three-year member of Lafayette's Oaks Leadership Academy, Golini was chosen to attend the Naval Academy Leadership Conference last winter. Upon graduation, Golini demonstrated on the Lafayette campus and beyond that athletes care not just about their sport and themselves, but in coming together and making a real impact in the community.

Golini and Astor were chosen from an impressive list of 15 candidates which also included Navy's Kevin Alter (Men's Basketball), Army's Lindsay Danilack (Women's Track and Field), Colgate's Allie Dyer (Women's Volleyball), Loyola's Joe Fletcher (Men's Lacrosse), Holy Cross' Christine Ganser (Women's Basketball) and Alyssa Heiser (Women's Soccer), Navy's Elizabeth Hoerner (Women's Soccer), Bucknell's Rose Lewis (Women's Volleyball), Boston University's Jayme Mask (Softball), Lehigh's Tyler Mueller (Men's Cross Country/Track & Field), Loyola's Jacqueline Porter (Women's Track and Field), Bucknell's Trevor Reitz (Men's Swimming & Diving) and Holy Cross' Sandra van den Heuvel (Women's Track and Field).