Run for Roosevelt puts Lakers’ best foot forward
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Saturday, September 1, 2012 13:09
There are 27.8 miles between Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg and Chicago campuses. As school starts again this month, Michael Cassidy, director of intercollegiate athletics, ran the full distance between the two in an effort to raise awareness and support of Roosevelt athletics.
The University’s athletics program is adding four new sports this fall: men’s and women’s soccer, men’s golf and women’s softball. It is also anticipating the opening of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Center this December.
“We want the community to know we’re on the map,” Cassidy said. “We also want to let student athletes know the length Roosevelt staff is willing to go for them.”
Nearly 50 people donated money to the athletic department. Cassidy hopes more donors will give in the future.
“We’re looking for student interest, too,” said Deidra Somerville, director of development, corporate and foundation relations and athletics. “We’re looking for support, not necessarily money.”
Run for Roosevelt was the brainchild of Cassidy and the Lakers Club Leadership Team, which is composed of student athletes, faculty and parents. When the idea was originally pitched, board of trustees Chairman James J. Mitchell III pledged $27,000.
To further spur student interest, Somerville and the Lakers Club Leadership Team accepted song suggestions for use on Cassidy’s playlist during the run.
“We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback,” Somerville said. “This run defines Cassidy as someone committed.”
Cassidy spent more than two hours every day training, increased his distance and put himself on dietary restrictions in preparation for the run. He has participated in one half marathon (12.1 miles) and sprint triathlons before.
The Run for Roosevelt is the farthest run Cassidy has participated in.
“There’s a pretty big rush any time you can complete something like that,” Cassidy said. “There’s a process to it; it’s not something you just show up and do. Nothing else is like crossing the finish line. There’s a real payoff of satisfaction for all the hard work.”
To sponsor Cassidy’s purpose and give support to student athletes, interested donors can contact Cassidy (email@example.com), Somerville (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit rooseveltlakers.com to donate online.
“[The run is] different, but it’s so relevant to where we are as a University,” Somerville said. “We want to be unique and special, and this run shows we’re putting our money where our mouth is.”
Throughout the Run for Roosevelt, the Lakers’ Twitter account (@RooseveltLakers) documented Cassidy’s progress in the Run.
“The support I felt when I made my last few strides towards the Wabash Building is something that is going to stay with me for a long time,” Cassidy said.
He stressed the importance of Roosevelt coming together as a community for the new school year.
“If we all take that initiative with us this year, it’ll be a great year for our students,” Cassidy said.
Check in with @RUTORCH on Twitter to stay updated on Cassidy’s mission and keep the conversation running.