2016: Marissa Graby Hoover Raises Funds for Women’s Sports
Marissa Graby Hoover came to Penn State Harrisburg as the associate director of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations in 2004. By 2011, she became the interim director for a few months before earning the director position. Hoover was a 2000 Penn State graduate with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a three-time Academic All-American basketball player, and had the highest GPA on the team for three seasons. She was also the captain of the basketball team her senior year when the team reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
Both Hoover’s academic and basketball careers continued after she graduated from Penn State. She earned her M.Ed. in Sport and Recreation Administration from Temple University, and she played four years of semi-pro basketball.
In 2005, when Penn State Harrisburg reinstated intercollegiate varsity sports, Ms. Hoover became the women’s basketball coach. During her few seasons as coach, the team reach two final four tournaments in its conference.
Hoover continues to be a champion for women’s sports at the college. She recently created her own business called Always a Lion that sells diploma frames with an original drawing of the Nittany Lion that she created “one dot at a time.” On the business’s website, Hoover says to look closely at every dot because each one is different: “Each dot I placed on the paper was part of my journey towards graduation. In a way, one of these dots represents each alumni to create the bigger picture of what we are. We Are…Penn State.” Always a Lion donates 22% of all proceeds from the diploma sales to support women’s sports at Penn State.
Because of Hoover’s fundraising efforts from Always a Lion and other avenues, women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams might have a future at Penn State Harrisburg.