NEW YORK – Graduating senior Cindy Chen was presented with the Marion R. Philips Watch Award, as Columbia capped the 2011-12 academic year with the 91st annual Varsity C Celebration, Tuesday, May 1. 

Donated in honor of the former chairperson of the Barnard Physical Education Department by the Associate Alumnae of Barnard College, the watch is presented annually to the senior female student athlete who has achieved the best cumulative academic record through the fall semester immediately preceding the date of the celebration, and who has been awarded the Varsity C for at least two seasons. 

A four-year letter winner and team captain her senior year, Chen was a true standout performer on the court and in the classroom. A key contributor to the Lions’ squad that set new team standards for overall and Ivy League victories over the past two seasons, Chen was named to the Capital One Academic All-District I Volleyball first team in 2011. 

A statistics major in Columbia College, Chen has been named to the dean’s list six times through this past fall term. She has been honored as a member of the Columbia Athletics 4.0 Club four separate times. Overall, Cindy achieved a 3.95 grade point average heading into her final semester. She will graduate with honors this May.

The Marion R. Philips Watch, formerly known as the Scholar-Athlete Watch, is named after the late Marion R. Philips, member of the Barnard Physical Education Department for 39 years and Chairperson for 13 years. Ms. Philips was a major force in founding Barnard’s Intercollegiate Athletics Program, which served as a foundation for today’s Athletic Consortium. Throughout her career, Ms. Philips nurtured and encouraged young women to strive for excellence in academics and athletics. The opportunities she created will continue to be enjoyed by future generations of Barnard and Columbia women. 

"The whole team was so excited for Cindy to win that watch," Columbia volleyball head coach Jon Wilson said. "She is a great example of hard work and keeping both volleyball and academics a high priority in her life.  Cindy has played a critical role in the rise of Columbia Volleyball, and will be missed."