Thanks to the generosity of alumni, family, and friends, the Brandeis University Athletic Department has met its fundraising goal for the Barry Harsip ’73 Student Lounge this summer, director of athletics Lauren Haynie announced today.
Named after the Brandeis Athletics men’s soccer Hall of Famer who died in 2020, the Harsip Lounge will give students a place of their own to focus on their studies, unwind between practices and refuel on healthy snacks.
“College life is very busy for varsity athletes,” Jeffrey Bender ’75, a former soccer player and team captain, told the Brandeis University Alumni Association in April. “Strong time management is essential.”
That’s why Bender, and former soccer teammates John Fobia ’73, Mark Volk ’74, and David Goodman ’74, came up with the idea for the new student lounge for recreation, study, and refueling in the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center – the place Brandeis athletes spend most of their time.
Last summer, the group of alumni, joined by friend Mark Scheier and Lisa Harsip, Barry’s wife, raised more than $80,000 to get the project off the ground. This past May, the group, in collaboration with the Brandeis Athletics Department, launched a two-day crowdfunding campaign to raise additional funds to complete construction and furnish the space.
Already, students are eager to make use of the renovated space.
“It will be so helpful to have a space to study before and after practice, without having to spend a lot of time walking around campus to find a spot,” says Sydney Lenhart ’24, a member of the women’s soccer team. “I really like the idea of having a designated space in the building rather than having to study near a busy staircase.”
Barry Harsip was the prototypical student-athlete and a legendary all-star soccer captain who was inducted into the Brandeis Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019. He was kind, spirited, and generous, and these qualities helped to define his life and legacy, both personally and professionally. Harsip eventually became a lawyer, dedicated to helping families during difficult times. His athletic inspiration continued far after his undergraduate career at Brandeis through his dedication to youth sports for many years and his presence at Brandeis soccer games as a fan in the stands.
The Barry Harsip ’73 Student Lounge will be dedicated as part of the 2022 Homecoming celebration on October 7 at 6:30 p.m.