Huskies Athletics mourns loss of ‘Mama Dawn’

Dawn “Mama Dawn” Schenk a big supporter of SCSU athletics passed away in early November. Photo credit: Huskies Athletics

St. Cloud State athletics lost one of their most supportive community members. Dawn Schenk, also known as Mama Dawn to the coaches and athletes, passed away from cancer in early November.

Schenk and her husband John have been a part of the Huskies Athletics community since 1984. At that time, they grew close with the basketball as well as the rest of the athletic community on campus. Growing close with that team was just the start of her dedication to her beloved Husky Athletics.

As time passed, Schenk got more involved with the events teams put on as they did more fundraisers and helped with the Huskies community involvement. SCSU’s annual golf tournament was one of her favorite events to be a part of. Schenk enjoyed the tournament because a lot of former student-athletes would come and she could reconnect with them at least once a year.

“You would always see Dawn working at the registration table for the whole event, greeting everyone and talking with them.” Pat Dolan, SCSU head baseball coach, said.

Schenk did not only help with athletic events; she helped the student-athletes feel like they were at home Matt Reimer, SCSU men’s basketball head coach, reminisced. Schenk and her husband would have students over for dinner and act as their St. Cloud parents.

Acting as a mother to the students was how Schenk got the nickname Mama Dawn, as she was known as around campus and the community.

A lot of students would say that Schenk was like a second mother to them during their time at St Cloud State. Riley Ahern plays basketball for SCSU and has many fond memories of Schenk, a lot of which had to do with her home cooking and baking.

“She had me and my brother over a few times for dinner…. she would also make her lemon bread to give to the team for every home game,” shared Ahern.

In 2019, Schenk received the NSIC’s Noel Olson Volunteer of the Year Award. The award recolonizes those individuals who, as volunteers, have made significant contributions to the NSIC as a whole.

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