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Lehigh Carbon Community College

By Suzy Alstrin

On a beautiful morning, Debbie Blount (RU-2023 & 2024) teed off in her final collegiate tournament. At age 65, she competed in three full rounds over two days in the Appalachian Athletic Conference championship held in Acworth, Georgia earlier this week. The oldest competitive student-athlete in Reinhardt’s history, Blount proudly represented the University on and off-campus over the past four years.

In her three years as an undergraduate, Blount achieved a 4.0 GPA, won the non-traditional Student of the Year Award, and was featured by People magazine, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC, and 3rd Act magazine, to name a few. She humbly notes her proudest accomplishment as being awarded the Kim Moore Spirit Award from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association in 2022. Her positive outlook, determination, and contributions to her teammates earned the prestigious award.

Her spirit and legacy quickly became obvious at the recent tournament, with players and coaches in all uniforms expressing gratitude and the honor they felt to play alongside her over the years. After the final ball dropped into the 54th hole of the tournament, emotions filled the green. Summing up her collegiate golf experience she said, “I can’t believe I got to do this. I have never had more fun. It’s been a gift. Reinhardt’s been a gift. These girls have been a gift.”

Former teammate Lauren Welte (RU-2023) paid a surprise visit to the event. About her time playing alongside Blount, Welte recalled, “It was the best thing in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was amazing to be part of her career, to have her be a part of mine, and to be such a big influence both ways, on and off the golf course. She has been a big role model to me. I’m honored to be here to support her.”

Blount celebrates her 66th birthday when she graduates on May 3rd with a master’s degree in Master of Science in Sport Administration and Leadership. She is eager to continue playing golf but says it might be time to also do some coaching. The day following the tournament, she competed in an adult women’s golf tournament before heading to a Georgia Women’s Golf Association tournament. Also skilled in time management, she said she’d be sure to get her final class papers completed between events.

It didn’t matter that the Eagles didn’t win the tournament. Their camaraderie and team spirit made everyone feel like a champion.