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Alumna Kristine Pierce retires her jersey and gains an award

Kristine Pierce

When women's hockey player Kristine Pierce '99 was asked to stand at RIT convocation ceremonies in May, the applause was thunderous in the crowded tent. The RIT community was justifiably proud: this spring Pierce, team captain and All American, was named as the 1999 Hockey Humanitarian. Chosen from a field of 17 nominees from all over the nation, she is the first female and the first Division III player to earn the prestigious national honor, which goes to "college hockey's finest citizen."

At convocation, RIT Athletics Director Louis Spiotti announced that Pierce's number 12 jersey would be retired in her honor. In her eight years of volunteerism, Pierce has worked with some 24 different organizations on 199 different occasions for a total of over 485 hours. The Big Brother Big Sister Program, Habitat for Humanity and Camp Good Days and Special Times are just three of the organizations that have benefited from Pierce's dedication.

The Honeoye Falls-Lima High School graduate has also earned over 30 scholarships and awards in the past five years including the Cancer Action Mark Zagata Award, given to a young person who is courgeous in coping with cancer.

"We are very honored and very happy for Kristine," Spiotti said. "I have seen hundreds of student athletes pass through our program. Kristine will stay in our memories as the one who had the most positive impact. Her leadership, energy and spirit will be with us long after she graduates."