I was only in high school when I had my first experience. I look back now and wonder if it wasn’t really destined all along you know? My high school track coach called me to her office one day to ask if I wanted to take a trip, she had a friend involved with the Lady Vol basketball team, and it was time for her annual visit. That trip changed my life. I had never seen anything like it, and as an Ohio girl- I have had a chance to visit THE Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University- just to name a few. Nothing else ever stood out to me like that baby blue and orange that made the Lady Vol logo. It was beautiful. The colors aren’t what made it beautiful though- but the attitude behind it.
There was such a confidence I saw and FELT as young women walked past me wearing that logo. The girls on the court playing ball and the ones on the track practicing, they were secure, proud, and amazing! I wanted that. I wanted to rock the independence of that baby blue. I wanted to one day be the young lady that a little girl could look up to and be encouraged by, because by seeing me representing that logo- she would know she could accomplish anything.
The University of Tennessee athletic department doesn’t need to be united by a common logo- we are already united by school spirit, the pride we have in each other’s accomplishments, and our common goal: to be number one. We each take special pride in the logo we wear, and although they are different, we represent the same thing: The University of Tennessee. Just like husband and wife, we complement each other. The Lady Vol logo is so entwined with the story of my life, as well as the lives of the hundreds and thousands of other Lady Vols who came before me. The Lady T is more than just a logo; it’s an attitude, a confidence, a reason. It’s a reason to get excited. It’s a reason to get up and be active. It’s a reason to be a woman… proud and strong. It’s a reason to be GREAT. My name is Shanna (Dickenson) Cheatham and I am a Lady Volunteer.
Lady Vol Track and Field
Discus and Hammer Thrower