Sharon Gerken, ’78

Sharon Gerken, an outstanding athlete for IWA, was a three-sport athlete - volleyball, basketball and softball. Sharon was a varsity volleyball player for three of her four years and was a member of the 1976 State Volleyball Championship team, the first state championship team at IWA. Sharon played four years on varsity basketball. Sharon helped lead the effort to begin the softball and tennis programs at IWA. Once softball was introduced at IWA, Sharon’s athleticism shined on the diamond. During her junior and senior year, Sharon led the Red Knights as an undefeated pitcher. Sharon is the first IWA student to receive Division I Softball and Volleyball scholarships. Sharon went on to play at Southwest Missouri State University and lead her team to the College World Series in 1982. Sharon has been more than an advocate for Incarnate Word Academy for many years. Sharon served as the Alumnae Board President (1987-1994), the phonathon chair (1984-1994), Golf Tournament Chair (present), and 75th Anniversary Chair. As IWA’s Development Director, she single handedly led the Capital Campaign that made the new addition a reality. Sharon not only attends most of the athletic contests but is seen filming many opposing teams. Sharon knows athletes’ names, their families and more often than not, what play will appear on the court or field. The Red Knight Champion is awarded to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to Red Knight Athletics through the demonstration of the highest principles of integrity, honesty and fair play without consideration for self gain. Sharon’s passion for IWA can be compared to no other. Sharon’s love for IWA has inspired many alumnae, students, parents and friends over the years to share in the rich tradition of pride and excellence IWA has offered for over 75 years.