Senior . Field Hockey . Atherton, CA
2012-13 Russ and Ann Gerdin Family Athletic Scholarship Recipient
It is not every day that a California high school student-athlete seeks out the University of Iowa, as only a handful of the nearly 650 Hawkeye student-athletes hail from the state. But, in the case of Hawkeye field hockey standout Kathleen McGraw, that is exactly what happened. “I sought out Iowa,” said the junior from Atherton, California, about her recruitment. “I knew how reputable the program’s history was, and I knew that I wanted to play at the most competitive program I could given my athletic ability.”
“When I showed up at the Iowa Field Hockey Camp the summer following my junior year of high school, Tracey (Griesbaum) and Lisa (Cellucci) did not know who I was or anything about my skill level. After just three days of playing on Grant Field and working with the coaching staff, I decided I was going to come to Iowa. After camp, I wrote to Tracey and Lisa telling them that I was going to do whatever it took to be a Hawkeye. The next fall I was invited to come on an official visit and the rest is history.”
That decision has worked out well for both McGraw and the Hawkeyes. This past season, McGraw earned All-America honors and helped lead Iowa to its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. The Hawkeyes ended their season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last month, losing 3-2 at seventh ranked Virginia. McGraw ended her career fifth all-time in career saves with 336 stops. She led Iowa to backto- back NCAA appearances in 2011 and 2012.
McGraw noted the 2011 NCAA Tournament appearance, a major turnaround from the previous season, as her favorite Hawkeye accomplishment thus far. “After nine months of grueling hard work and effort, we saw results,” said McGraw, a first team All-Big Ten honoree. “Last season, we finished 12th in the nation and earned an NCAA bid. That turnaround was the most rewarding thing I have experienced thus far.”
The Californian also recalled another ‘Iowa’ experience, something she was not used to in her home state. “I remember the first snow day,” said McGraw. “Being from California, I had never experienced weather like there is in Iowa. The first time it snowed my freshman year, we got more than 12 inches in 24 hours resulting in a snow day. I was alarmed at first thinking that this was going to happen every day for the entire winter. Playing in the snow with my teammates was a great ‘first-time’ experience for me.”
McGraw has excelled both on and off the field. The finance major was named to the USA Under 21 Junior National Squad in 2011 and 2012; was selected for the 2012 US National Team Development Squad; and is a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member, and two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
“Entrepreneurship and Innovation is the best class I have taken at the university,” said the Dean’s List student. “You get the chance to market and pitch career and product ideas on a regular basis. The final project is a business feasibility plan for your dream product or job. This class has given me a great start in accomplishing my ultimate goal of owning my own business.”
“I plan on opening my own business, a community sponsored industrial art center,” said McGraw. “I have always wanted to work for myself. My entrepreneurial nature, coupled with my finance and art studies at the University of Iowa, have formulated this dream. Increasing budget cuts in public funding for the arts is resulting in an education void. I hope to provide a forum that will facilitate habitual exposure to the arts and arts education.”
McGraw knows the importance of her UI education and is thankful for the donors who make it a reality. She is grateful for her Iowa experience, snow and all. “My education is one of the most valuable things in my life,” said McGraw. “Being in an environment like Iowa, you are always surrounded by ambitious and driven students, athletes, and philanthropists. The peers that I have here, coupled with dynamic faculty and coaches, have given me the foundation I need to make big strides in the real world. Donations enable many people to have an education that is invaluable, but it is not only an education. It is a foundation for future success.”