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Erin Hughes ’21 Named ODK National Leader of the Year in Athletics Hughes’ award is part of ODK’s 2021 General Russell E. Dougherty National Leader of the Year competition.

erin_hughes-350x233 Erin Hughes ’21 Named ODK National Leader of the Year in AthleticsErin Hughes ’21

“Receiving this honor, specifically in athletics, means a lot to me. This recognition is a reflection of all my coaches, teammates, athletic director and family members who have supported me no matter what, encouraged me to believe in myself, and challenged me to work hard and be passionate about everything I do.”

~ Erin Hughes ’21

Washington and Lee University senior Erin Hughes ’21 has been named Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leader of the Year in athletics. Hughes’ award is part of the national leadership honor society’s 2021 General Russell E. Dougherty National Leader of the Year competition. She will receive a $1,000 post-graduate scholarship.

Hughes is majoring in cognitive and behavioral science with a minor in poverty and human capability studies and another minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies. Following graduation, she intends to pursue a degree in law.

A two-time captain for the W&L women’s basketball team, Hughes was selected to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-Academic Team for four years and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. She earned First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-State and Second Team All-Conference honors during her collegiate career. Hughes also coordinated and moderated an award-winning event entitled “RISE: The Athlete Experience” that highlighted the experience of Black student-athletes at the university.

In addition, Hughes participated in the Generals Leadership Academy, served as an ambassador for the Office of Inclusion and Engagement, and was a student facilitator for the university’s First-Year Experience course. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and was a Rho Gamma volunteer supporting sorority rush.

Hughes was also active in several off-campus programs. She served as an instructional assistant at the Hill Learning Center, a volunteer assistant basketball coach at Rockbridge County High School and a tutor at Harrington Waddell Elementary School. She also has volunteered with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program.

“Athletics has always been such an integral part of my life and has shaped me into the person and leader I am today,” Hughes said. “Receiving this honor, specifically in athletics, means a lot to me. This recognition is a reflection of all my coaches, teammates, athletic director and family members who have supported me no matter what, encouraged me to believe in myself, and challenged me to work hard and be passionate about everything I do.”

“Erin Hughes is a great representative of what it means to truly be a student-athlete,” said Tara S. Singer, president and chief executive officer of ODK. “She has excelled as a leader on the women’s basketball team and in the classroom at W&L. Erin has earned the tremendous respect of her teammates, coaches, faculty and fellow Alpha Circle members.”

Omicron Delta Kappa Society, the National Leadership Honor Society, was founded in 1914 in Lexington, VA. ODK recognizes not only academic achievement, but also campus leadership in five areas of campus life: scholarship; athletics; campus and community service; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. ODK has more than 300 active circles at colleges and universities across the country.