AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst has announced that one of their former outstanding sports alumna will be delivering this year’s graduation keynote address and be presented with an honorary degree.
Brianna Scurry graduated from the University in 1993 after playing for four years on the Minutewomen soccer team. In 1993, the team held a 17-3-3 record, moving to the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship and the titles of the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament.
She continued her career by becoming an internationally renowned goalkeeper and a founding player for the Atlanta Beat in the Women’s United Soccer Association (USA). Scurry was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team that took a gold medal in the first Olympic women’s soccer competition in 1996 and led the team to a win at the 1999 World Cup championship game against China.
Scurry is one of the first African American and openly gay professional women’s soccer players. She was inducted into the UMass Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017, and her story is a part of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture’s Title IX exhibit.
Scurry’s professional career ended in 2010 when she received a traumatic brain injury playing in a game. As a result, she is now an advocate for sports safety and awareness of traumatic brain injuries among female athletes. In her 2022 book, “My Greatest Save,” she looks back at her sports career, post-injury struggles with pain and depression, and her continued commitment to break barriers and inspire others.
UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “Briana Scurry has excelled in extraordinary ways throughout her life, and we are so proud to welcome her home to Amherst. Her dedication to teamwork and her advocacy to benefit others makes her a superb choice to provide insight and inspiration to our community.”
The University of Massachusetts Amherst commencement ceremony will take place on Friday, May 26, at 9 a.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.