Murfreesboro resident and longtime MTSU equestrian team coach Anne Brzezicki knew all about a retirement celebration dinner planned for her in the James Union Building.
She was totally unaware, however, that friends planned a surprise that remained a secret for weeks and months: The large Horse Science Center indoor facility would bear her name — the “Anne Brzezicki Arena.”
Boulder, Colorado, residents Lanas and Julie Smith, MTSU alumni and longtime friends of both the program and Brzezicki, retained the naming rights for the Anne Brzezicki Arena through their generous gift to the MTSU Foundation to enclose the area.
When Brzezicki retired earlier this year after a successful 35-year career, there was only one individual’s name the Smiths wanted on the building.
“After all the years of putting my heart and soul into the program, a permanent piece of me is now there — and that means a lot,” Brzezicki said.
Jared Bryson, development director for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, said there’s an opportunity in Brzezicki’s retirement for the public “to support the work she holds dear” by giving to the Anne Brzezicki Equestrian Endowment.
Donors can complete giving online at www.mtsu.edu/supportag, then direct their gifts to the Brzezicki endowment in the comments section.
“The funds will support broader student experiences through the purchase of critical new equipment and enable travel to competitions across the country,” Bryson added.
“In order to stay on the forefront of equestrian education and produce graduates that are highly competitive, we need the ability to secure student learning experiences and enhance existing facilities.”
This fall, along with offering personal teaching lessons, a busy Brzezicki has kept up with her professional associations by attending the All-American Quarter Horse Congress — the world’s largest single breed horse show outside of the Olympics — in Columbus, Ohio, and she plans to attend the Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference Oct. 26-29 in Lexington, Kentucky, too.
To learn more about the horse science program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/horse-science or call 615-898-2832.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)