FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARLTON, NJ – January 6, 2021 – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced today that SHEEX® Inc., Co-Founder/Co-CEO Michelle M. Marciniak is one of seven recipients of the 2021 Silver Anniversary Awards.
The Silver Anniversary Awards are bestowed every year by the NCAA to honor distinguished former student-athletes in recognition of their collegiate and professional achievements, as well as their civic contributions on their 25th anniversary as college graduates. The honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, composed of representatives of NCAA member schools, conferences and distinguished citizens, including past awardees.
The 2021 recipients are Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Adam J. Burgasser, Michelle M. Marciniak, Fernando Palomo, Amy E. Reinhard, Lt. Col. Dan Rooney and Michelle Cusimano Vachris. The honorees will be recognized during a virtual Honors Celebration awards show on Wed., Jan. 13. The show will be streamed at 7 p.m. ET on the NCAA Twitter account and on the ESPN app.
“I am humbled and honored to receive an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. I am aware of the prestige that accompanies this distinct honor and can’t help but think about all the people who helped pave the way for me to pursue my dreams in life,” Marciniak said.
“From my parents, siblings, mentors and my college coach, Pat Summitt, and especially to Susan Walvius, my business partner and Co-Founder of SHEEX -- I have become who I am today due to the sacrifice of others dedicated to guiding me to become my best in life both as an athlete and as an entrepreneur.”
During her collegiate basketball career, Marciniak starred at the at the University of Tennessee where she played for the late-legendary coach Summitt. With Marciniak running the team, the Lady Vols made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament and into two Final Four National Championship games (1995, 1996). She reached the pinnacle of her collegiate success leading her team to the 1996 NCAA title and securing the NCAA MVP and honorable mention All-America honors. In November 2012, the University of Tennessee honored her extraordinary basketball career and contributions to UT women’s athletics by inducting her into the 2012 Class of the Lady Vol Hall of Fame.
While one-third of the selection criteria is based on the nominee’s achievements during their time as a prominent collegiate athlete, the other two-thirds are determined by the nominee’s career achievements, including professional, charitable and civic contributions.
Her time away from the court has been full of successes as well. After leaving the collegiate coaching world, Marciniak became an entrepreneur and co-founded SHEEX® Inc., the world’s first performance fabric bedding and sleepwear company with globally patented technology with Susan Walvius in 2007. Best known for their Performance Sleep System made from must-have technical performance cooling fabrics including sheets, duvets, coverlets, comforters, mattress pads, mattress protectors, pillows, mattresses and sleepwear, SHEEX invented an entirely new category in the bedding world.
Marciniak’s ambitious approach to entrepreneurship earned her a place in the 2014 Class of Henry Crown Fellows. She has also volunteered her time as a Co-Founder of Pedal for Alzheimer’s, Ltd., a 501(c)(3) charitable platform committed to organizing cycling events to raise money towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Additionally, she serves as a Strategic Advisor, Space for Humanity and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Along with fellow SHEEX Co-Founder and Co-CEO Walvius, they were recognized by receiving an Ernst & Young (EY) Winning Women Award, a prestigious honor celebrating the top female entrepreneurs in America In October 2012.
She becomes the first (ever) female student-athlete at the University of Tennessee (see attached bio) to receive the Silver Anniversary Award joining previous NCAA Vol inductees: 1978, Andrew Kozar (football), 1993, Bob Johnson (football), 2000, John Trembley (swimming) and 2019, Heath Shuler (football). Pat Head Summitt (basketball) was a 1999 recipient representing the University of Tennessee-Martin.