Olympic gold medalist and Auburn alumna to speak at Auburn’s Women’s Philanthropy Board Fall Luncheon

AUBURN – The Women’s Philanthropy Board, in Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences, will host its 2009 Fall Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 11, from 12 p.m.-2 p.m. at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. The featured speaker will be Kirsty Coventry, Auburn alumna and Olympic gold medalist.

Coventry is a world-record holder and winner of bronze, silver and gold Olympic medals. In 2000, while still in high school, she entered the world scene in swimming as she reached the semifinals for the Millennium Olympic Games and was named Zimbabwe’s Sports Woman of the Year. This international attention caught the eye of the Auburn Tigers and Coventry was recruited to join the Auburn University women’s swimming team.

While at Auburn, Coventry led the Tigers to an NCAA Championship in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, she was the leading individual scorer in the NCAA Championships and captured three individual titles for a second consecutive season. That same year, she competed in the World Championships in Montreal and won a gold medal in two events. In August 2009, Coventry lowered her own world record and won the gold medal in the 200 meter backstroke during the FINA World Championships.

During her career at Auburn, she was named the College Swimming Coaches Association Swimmer of the Meet, the 2005 SEC Swimmer of the Year, the 2004-2005 SEC Female Athlete of the Year and the 2005 Honda Award Winner for Swimming. In 2006, Coventry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant management from Auburn’s College of Human Sciences.

Kirsty’s Olympic career began in 2004 when she burst onto the Olympic scene and captured three medals – a gold, silver and bronze. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she added to her prior success and broke another world record by winning the gold medal in the women’s 200 meter backstroke as well as three silver medals.

In addition to her gold medal record, Kirsty is a dedicated philanthropist and serves as an Ambassador to Hope for Children, a United Kingdom registered charity. She was awarded $100,000 by President Mugabe of Zimbabwe for her success at the Olympics and gave a portion of that money to charitable organizations. She lives in Austin, Texas where she continues to train and also serves as volunteer assistant swimming coach at the University of Texas.

Women’s Philanthropy Board corporate partners the Alabama Power Company, Moore Wealth Management, the Auburn University Office of Outreach, The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, the Kiplinger Foundation, Charlotte Gaston Interiors, the Dubberly Group Total Merrill, Gallery One Fine Art and the Flower Store have helped underwrite the event.

Registration for the luncheon is $50 and includes the 12 p.m. lunch. Tables of eight can be reserved for $400. Seating is limited and early registration is recommended. To register, contact Sidney James Nakhjavan at (334) 844-9199 or e-mail wpbchs1@auburn.edu.

Make checks payable to the Auburn University WPB for the Fall Luncheon and mail to: Auburn University College of Human Sciences, Women’s Philanthropy Board, 210 Spidle Hall, Auburn, AL 36849.

Contact: Sidney James Nakhjavan, (334) 844-9199 (www.humsci.auburn.edu/wpb), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

Kirsty Coventry

Kirsty Coventry