University of St. Thomas senior student-athletes Monica Litle and Barrett Lauer have helped shape an attitude of perseverance and hard work for their respective sports programs. These two students guide their teammates and the campus community and were recognized for their accomplishments at the Leadership Banquet on April 28.
Monica Litle, defensive specialist for the women's volleyball team, was awarded the Presidential Leadership Award from University President Dr. Robert Ivany. Barrett Lauer, guard on the men's basketball team, along with Litle, won the 2013 NAIA National Tournament Champions of Character Award.
Athletic Director and Men's Basketball Head Coach Todd Smith praised Litle and Lauer for their leadership and the legacy they will leave behind.
"The UST Department of Athletics has been blessed and lucky to have both Barrett and Monica as part of our family for the last four years," Smith said. "Both have been responsible leaders, students and teammates since the day they walked on campus. We will truly miss them and wish them the best of luck as they move forward with school, their lives and their careers. They are now Celts for life."
Litle Wins Presidential Leadership Award
Litle's Presidential Leadership Award is a prestigious award given to an undergraduate junior or senior who has made significant leadership contribution to the University. She also received the NAIA National Tournament Champions of Character Award at the Leadership Banquet.
"This school has presented so many opportunities for me to excel especially concerning my school involvement," she said. "I was able to participate in several University organizations including volleyball, Mock Trial and Pi Sigma Alpha ― all of which were incredibly enriching in its own right. I could not be happier with what this school has done for me and the rest of its student body."
Litle, from Dallas, Texas, attended Bishop Lynch High School. She is a pre-law and political science major with a history and international studies minor. If her academic load doesn't seem heavy enough, she is also currently the president of Pi Sigma Alpha and a member of the Phi Alpha Theta and Aquinas Honor Society. Recently, she competed with the UST Mock Trial Team in the Opening Round Championship Series in Memphis, Tenn. She maintains her many activities seamlessly with a cumulative GPA of 3.6.
Her volleyball awards include the 2012 NAIA National Tournament Champions of Character Award, named one of the 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Volleyball Scholar-Athletes, and the 2012 NAIA Red River Athletic Conference Champions of Character Award.
She plans to attend Baylor University for law school in the fall.
Lauer Mentors as Champion of Character
Lauer received the 2013 NAIA National Tournament Champions of Character Award. Truly demonstrating the heart of a champion and a mind of character, Lauer is an intern with the Blue Cure Foundation, an organization that strives to promote awareness about prostate cancer and encourage prevention through diet and lifestyle habits.
"It was an honor to be able to represent my team and this amazing University in my time as a student athlete," Lauer said. "I wouldn't have been able to be as successful on and off the court as I was without the guidance from Coach Smith, Coach Henderson and the support from my teammates. I strive to represent this University in a way befitting its prestige."
Lauer has represented St. Thomas as the 2013 Mardi Gras King, a freshman orientation leader and a Freshman Symposium mentor. He was the captain of the men's basketball team and started every game as a junior. He often contributed the intangibles in games such as playing tough defense and creating turnovers.
From Montgomery, Texas, Lauer was a four-year letterman at Montgomery High School. He maintained a 3.3 GPA at UST, and he will graduate with a degree in business marketing.
Leaving Behind a Legacy
Both Litle and Lauer will move on to greater achievements, but they will both be leaving behind teams on the brink of winning big on a national stage. Both the men's basketball and women's volleyball teams reached nationals in the 2012-2013 season. Both players left their mark at St. Thomas and their teammates will carry on their legacy by continuing to excel on the court and in the classroom.