From Athlete to Leader: Vice President and Director of Athletics Vicky Chun Accepts Position at Yale University


Vice President and Director of Athletics Vicky Chun ’91 reflects on her time at Colgate as well as the impact she has made on the student-athlete community. She will begin her role as Yale’s new Athletic Director on July 1, 2018. 

Veronica Chen, News Editor

President Brian Casey revealed on Thursday, February 1 that Vice President and Director of Athletics Vicky Chun will be leaving Colgate to serve as Yale University’s new Director of Athletics. According to Casey’s email to students, faculty and staff, Chun’s position at Yale will become effective on July 1, 2018. Colgate will begin a national search for her replacement this winter. Chun has served as one of Colgate’s most vital members, both as a student-athlete at Colgate and as a member of the university’s leadership, and her support for its student-athletes has led to successful results on and off the playing fields.

Seniors Carolyn Coote and Katie Kelleher, who are captains of the women’s rowing team, were among the students who experienced various emotions after the announcement of Chun’s departure from Colgate’s Athletic Department.

“Vicky has been such an influential figure here at Colgate and it [is] slightly hard to picture athletics without her. Vicky has been a great and constant part of our athletic journey here at Colgate [and] it is hard to picture the athletic department without her leadership,” Coote and Kelleher said.

Dubbed a “Game Changer” by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal in 2014, Chun has a positive reputation among and beyond the Colgate community. On the Official Athletics Website of the Colgate Raiders, Chun is described as one of “the most enthusiastic, involved and well-respected administrators in NCAA Division I athletics,” where her “positive energy and enthusiasm now permeates the Colgate athletic program.” From the construction improvements in the Class of 1965 Arena and Beyer-Small ’76 Field, to the achievement of a 98 percent graduation success rate for student-athletes, Chun’s dedication to Colgate’s Athletic Department has become widely recognized around the United States.

Chun reflected on specific accomplishments she is most proud of during her time at Colgate.

“I am so proud of many accomplishments that our student-athletes, coaches and faculty have achieved together for the Division of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics. Some milestones for me would be: achieving a 98 percent graduation success rate, winning many Patriot League Championships, achieving national rankings for our varsity athletic teams and our club teams, the incredible increased involvement of our students and community members in our Trudy Fitness Center and opening the Class of 1965 Arena and many other facility projects on time and on budget,” she said.

While Chun oversaw substantial infrastructure enhancements, Coote and Kelleher personally emphasized instances where Chun contributed to the rowing team’s success. In particular, they both reflected on the relationships they formed with Chun, as well as how she influenced the fate of the team.

“Something that we worked closely on with her this summer was the search for a new head coach. With [the] limited time of [only] a few months, Chun brought in a motivated and deeply committed head coach that has transformed our program for the better,” Coote and Kelleher said. “We are very grateful for her commitment to improving our program. Thanks to her efforts and other members of the athletic department, our team has taken great steps to become more competitive within the Patriot League and has a bright future.”

Though Chun is excited for her future  at Yale, Colgate will always be remembered fondly.

“There is so much I am going to miss about Colgate student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and community members that it is impossible to pick just one,” Chun said. “For our student-athletes, what I will miss most is their passion … their passion for learning, their passion for their teammates and their passion for Colgate. All student-athletes possess a certain drive and competitive spirit, but the passion of Colgate student-athletes goes well-beyond that. For our coaches, faculty members and staff, I am going to miss the incredible people they are. I have formed bonds that will last throughout my lifetime and I will miss seeing them, but will never forget them. Once a Raider, always a Raider.”

Chun has proven to be a positive influence on the student-athlete community, and Coote and Kelleher hope that the new Athletic Director will embody similar qualities as Chun.

“We’re hoping the new athletic director will take pride in Colgate’s commitment to academics as well as its athletic intensity. Balance is what we do best and it’s what Vicky always emphasized. [We hope that] the new director will be just as caring and committed to improving the Colgate student-athlete experience,” Coote and Kelleher said.

Chun also provided some parting advice for her successor.

“Colgate is a special, special place, and [you will be] a part of an incredible family. Never stop being grateful for this incredible opportunity,” Chun said.

“I have such deep gratitude and appreciation to the entire Colgate community for embracing me during my time here as a student-athlete, a head coach, and most recently as Vice President & Director of Athletics,” Chun said.

Although Chun’s time at Colgate has come to a close, she has left an undying impression on Colgate’s Division I athletics program. 

Contact Veronica Chen at [email protected].