Shannon Bielaska, MS ’74, attended IC twice—first, for two years as an undergraduate before transferring to a large public institution to be with her best friend, and then as a graduate student. Shannon was active in athletics at both of her alma maters. A basketball and volleyball player in college, she now demonstrates her Bomber pride by making annual gifts to the IC women sports teams of basketball, volleyball, softball, and lacrosse.
“I grew up when we bought our own shorts, our own shoes, and we washed our own uniforms,” Shannon recalls of the pre–Title IX days. “I’m keenly aware of how important it is to have equity in terms of spending and access to things. That’s my major reason for giving, to make sure that there’s some equity in the sports program for the women as well as the men.”
Shannon also supports IC’s Leadership Academy, a program designed to instill leadership traits and philosophies in the college’s student-athletes: “The Leadership Academy points out those qualities that make for good leaders, which then makes them more desirable in the workforce. Anything that gives kids these days a leg up, I’m all for it.”