CLARION, Pennsylvania, January 12. THE Dr. Rebecca Rutt Leas Women's Swimming Scholarship has been created at Clarion University by former swimming coach Dr. Rebecca Leas and Milissa (Steiner) Bauer a former Clarion University swimmer and a 1984 Clarion University graduate.
Leas was the head women's swimming coach from 1979-1987, leading Clarion to six Division II national team titles and a second and a third place finish. Her teams were undefeated in PSAC dual meets and won every PSAC championship for eight straight years. Clarion defeated many Division 1 schools and also competed at the Division 1 national championships 1982-86 and the 1984 United States Olympic Trials. During Dr. Leas' tenure, the women also excelled in the classroom.
This newly-created swimming scholarship will be awarded to a woman who demonstrates this continued spirit of excellence both in the water and in the classroom.
"For years, I have wanted to partner with Becky to start a scholarship in her honor," said Bauer. "With her upcoming retirement from Clarion University in June of 2007, I believe the time is right to set up the fund."
Bauer is also spearheading an appeal to Clarion University alumni and friends to ensure the fund will be a significant scholarship for a Clarion University swimmer. "I firmly believe Coach Leas was the key to the team's successes in the pool and many of our achievements once we graduated from Clarion University," she said.
The goal for the scholarship is to reach $50,000 in the first year, with commitments to reach over $100,000 in the following three years.