Eastman Celebrates Women in Athletics

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Eastman Celebrates Women in Athletics

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.@eastmanchemco recognizes that sports can be a powerful platform to foster gender equality, empower young girls and women, and build leaders today and in the future. #WBHOF #goodforgood http://bit.ly/2yQNAVQ

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Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

Referred to as the “Eastman Statue,” the sculpture depicts a player from the past, present, and a young player representing the future of the game, highlighting the Hall of Fame’s commitment to honoring the past, celebrating the present, and promoting the future of women’s basketball.

Monday, July 2, 2018 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: Eastman Corporate Responsibility

CONTENT: Article

Eastman recognizes that sports can be a powerful platform to foster gender equality, empower young girls and women, and build leaders today and in the future. For us, this isn’t a new concept.

Honoring the past
Since 1997, Eastman has played a major role in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (WBHOF) in Knoxville, Tennessee. When the WBHOF was built, Eastman was key to the creation of the life-sized sculpture that greets visitors as they walk in the door at the Hall. Referred to as the “Eastman Statue,” the sculpture depicts a player from the past, present, and a young player representing the future of the game, highlighting the Hall of Fame’s commitment to honoring the past, celebrating the present, and promoting the future of women’s basketball.

Celebrating the present
Each year, Eastman has the honor of presenting a smaller version of the sculpture to each of the Hall of Fame inductees. Earlier this month, the Hall of Fame celebrated its 20th Anniversary, and Eastman’s Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer David Golden welcomed Ceal Barry (coach), Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia (veteran, contributor), Chris Dailey (contributor - assistant coach), Mickie DeMoss (contributor - assistant coach), Chamique Holdsclaw (player), Katie Smith (player), and Tina Thompson (player) to the distinguished class of inductees.

In addition to inducting the Class of 2018, the Hall of Fame gave special recognition to a group that paved the way for the history of women’s basketball—the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL). Entitled “Trailblazers of the Game,” the display honored the first professional women’s basketball league in the United States playing three seasons from 1978-1981. The league was created by sports promoter Bill Byrne and featured eight teams during its inaugural season. Over 100 women were called up on stage and presented with a Trailblazers pin, including Debra Thomas, a retired Eastman Longview Epolene Operator. She played college basketball at Stephen F. Austin and professionally for the Iowa Cornets.

Promoting the future
“Leadership matters. That’s the beginning of the answer I give when asked why Eastman supports the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” shared Golden on stage at the ceremony.

Ask any coach or athlete, and they will certainly attest that their time on a court or playing field taught them much more than athletic skills. Athletics builds character and teaches skills such as teamwork, listening, problem-solving, focus, discipline, work ethic, motivation, how to win, how to fail, and how to overcome adversity. Eastman appreciates that today’s student athletes are leaders for the future, and we continue to partner with strategic organizations to identify opportunities to advance women at every level.

“We live in a world in desperate need of leadership, and organizations such as the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame seek out, honor, and promote leadership of women,” Golden continued. “You are cracking the code, and if we could leverage that around the world, we would change the trajectory in a dramatic way.”

Learn more about this partnership and other empowerment-focused efforts at responsibility.eastman.com.