Christine Blonski earns Marquette’s Hy Popuch Award
Dec. 20, 2017
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University M Club has announced Christine (Kennedy) Blonski as the winner of the Hy Popuch Award, given to the student-athlete alumni organization’s person of the year. She will be honored during the men’s basketball game against Xavier on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
In over 13 years serving on the M Club Board, Blonski was a two-term president and is credited for creating greater integration of former female student-athletes into various M Club events and activities. The former women’s basketball player rarely misses a home game at the Al McGuire Center and has pushed the M Club Golf Outing to greater prominence.
"I could not think of anyone more deserving of this award than Christine,” M Club president Joe Kohut said. “Her 13-plus years of service to the M Club and steadfast support of Marquette Athletics is second to none. Over the years she has greatly improved student-athlete alumni relations with MU Athletics and was instrumental in the growth and success of the M Club Golf Outing."
The former Christine Kennedy was a four-year letter winner for the women’s basketball team (1992-95) and a four-time all-conference performer. During her final two seasons, Marquette advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history and compiled a record of 41-19.
She sits ninth in program history with 1,609 career points, is third in rebounds (1,089) and fourth in blocks (157). She is the only player at MU to compile at least 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 150 blocks in her career.
“Christine is the perfect person for the award and she could not be more deserving,” Marquette women’s basketball head coach and M Club member Carolyn Kieger said. “She gives her heart and soul to the Marquette community and has done so much for our women’s basketball program and we are extremely appreciative. Her dedication to making Marquette Athletics stronger and her effort to propel us into the future is unmatched. We are very proud that she is a women’s basketball alumna and she is a great role model for our current players and our alumni community.”
ABOUT THE HY POPUCH AWARD:
In 1954, the Marquette University M Club decided to present an award annually to someone who has demonstrated loyal and dedicated service to Marquette athletics over a long period of time. The honor was originally named The Man of the Year Award and was renamed following the inclusion of women to the Marquette University Athletics Program in the 1970s.
The award is named for Hy Popuch, a former M Club president and recipient of the M Club Man of the Year Award in 1974. The award name changed from "Man of the Year" to the "Hy Popuch Award" to honor Popuch who died at the age of 73 on March 16, 1984 of a stroke. The First recipient of the Hy Popuch Award was former Marquette University Athletics Director, Hank Raymonds, who received the award in 1987.
He graduated from Marquette in 1943 after having earned varsity letters in tennis and football. In addition to his activities for Marquette, Popuch was inducted into the Jewish Community Center's Athletic Wall of Fame in 1968 for his many community services. He was also named ‘man of the year’ by the Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association for his sponsorship of youth athletic teams and banquets that he spearheaded over many years.
Popuch also received the Marquette Metropolitan Area Award, the Jerry Lewis Award for work against Muscular Dystrophy and the Certificate of Achievement Award from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.
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