Golf Tournament Aims to Open Doors

Golfing and learning to golf were both on the agenda at the UConn Law Centennial Golf Scramble and Clinic.

A foursome on the green during the UConn Law Centennial Golf Scramble at the Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield. (Molly Sullivan photo)

A golf tournament to celebrate the UConn School of Law centennial and support student scholarships and fellowships had a third and equally important goal – to widen access to a sport that can be important to practicing lawyers.

The UConn Law Centennial Golf Scramble and Clinic, organized by the UConn Law Centennial Committee, was held May 19 at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield. A little drizzle wasn’t enough to dampen the event, which consisted of a scramble style tournament and a clinic for those interested in learning the game. At the clinic students, staff and alumni learned proper form at the driving range before moving onto the basics of chipping and putting.

“Access to golf and the business that is conducted on the course has improved over time, but the game has a history of exclusion that must still be addressed,” said Assistant Dean Karen DeMeola ’96, who co-chairs the committee with Tara Trifon ’09. “We very intentionally created the clinic to offer those excluded from golf based on identity or socioeconomic status an opportunity to learn the game.”

The clinic culminated in its own nine-hole scramble on Lyman’s Apple Nine Course, and participants were able to put their newly learned skills to use on the green.

“I’ve always been an athlete, but I never had the opportunity to explore golf. I didn’t know how to get started, and I always assumed it would take too much time to learn and actually play with others.” said Ehren Cahill ’24, a student who participated in the clinic. “I have been intimidated to learn something new when trying to impress those I play with. This clinic took down that barrier and reflects the school’s interest in creating well-rounded professionals to send into the workforce.”

Further up the road at the Jones Course, a more traditional golf tournament was in full swing. Students, including a number of recent graduates, were able to meet and chat with their alumni and staff playing partners as they made their way through the 18-hole course.

The event culminated in an outdoor reception, where Dean Eboni S. Nelson gave remarks and prizes were handed out to the winners. They included Stephen Falcigno ’23 and Carrianna Field ’07, director of graduate and exchange programs, who won longest drive for men and women, respectively, and Nico Cotto, who won closest to the pin. Overall, the foursome of Sheriff Balogun ’19, Cotto, Shane Richardson and Trent Mitchell came in third; James Ruel ’99, Kyle DiVico, Jason Rudnick ’00 and Michael Shriffrin placed second; and Marc Bernatchez ’22, Falcigno, Jonathan Vasquez ’22 and Brayson Grant ’22 took first.

The tournament was sponsored by Locke Lord LLP, Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt, RisCassi & Davis PC, Buckley Wynne & Parese, the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association.

The year of centennial celebrations with a gala on June 11 at the Connecticut Convention Center.

See photos of the tournament on Flickr.

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