I wish to congratulate you on your retirement! I apologize I am unable to make it to the celebration, I wish I could see what an amazing group has gathered to celebrate you. From the moment I walked into the SPU gym, first as a recruit and then again as a freshman, it felt right. You took me up the stairs to the gym I’ve walked a hundred times now and introduced me to the girls on the team, Coach Siwek, Tom Box and others. I don’t remember exactly what you said the first time we met, but I do remember that I left with a big grin on my face, thinking, “This is the school for me.” The fall of my freshman year didn’t go the way we all had planned. I didn’t come to SPU to sit on the sidelines, have surgery and watch my teammates compete. And yet, after 2 years of doing just that, I learned a great lesson that has brought me where I am today. You don’t get to plan; God gets to plan. And even when we feel we are being forgotten and not listened to; his plan is perfect. I left SPU knowing his plan for me was greater than my own. Thank you Laurel, for being a mentor to me for those years, your passion and love of the sport shines. You have been a great asset for women and gymnastics, and I feel so very lucky to have had you been the coach and leader of our team during my time at SPU. Congratulations again on 46 years, best wishes for your next chapter in life.
Julie (Evin) Libadisos.