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Senior Spotlight: Grace Cotter

Senior Grace Cotter '23

Grace Cotter ’23 made a last-minute decision to go to SAU and has allowed her experiences on the tennis and basketball courts to change her life spiritually. Having served faithfully as a team chaplain for the girls’ basketball team, she used her testimony to help athletes just like herself!

Grace Cotter ’23 is a senior Sports Management major who is minoring in entrepreneurship. She has always been interested in sports management, but after taking some business classes, Grace knew she wanted to experiment in the business world. She is from Columbia City, IN, and never had Spring Arbor in mind. Grace committed to Siena Heights University in Adrian during her senior year of high school to play college basketball. After finishing high school, she had no doubts about her next step. However, weeks before the school year started, she suddenly felt that Siena Heights wasn’t where she wanted to be. 

On a whim, Grace contacted Coach Darling, the head of the tennis program at the time, and asked for a spot on the team at SAU.

“I played tennis in high school, and it was fun, so I took the chance.”

Shortly after, she also joined the basketball team, and for her first year, she was one of the very few students at SAU who was a part of two athletic teams.

While she tried to balance both, she ultimately realized that by doing so, she was putting her school work, friendships, and relationship with God on the back burner. She played on the women’s tennis team for the rest of college. And instead of being on the court, she transitioned into the role of team chaplain in the basketball program, where she could use her testimony to lead others during her sophomore and junior years. Now as a senior, she is fully committed to the tennis team and is finishing her last season with a team and coach she loves!

Grace Cotter on the tennis team

Grace is proud of her testimony, but knows that it has been challenging. Although she grew up in two Christian homes, she never had a super personal impact on her faith journey.

By God bringing Grace to SAU, she says, “I was able to look back and see him working in my life. That definitely brought me closer to Him.” 

As she grew her friendships on and off the court, Grace met her now fiance, Trevor! After parting ways to focus on their school work and respective athletics, they reconnected over a year later to talk about the spiritual influence they wanted to have on their sports teams. 

This was another powerful way that God was able to work in Grace’s story because after thinking she would never see him again, God brought them together to not only collaborate on faith within athletics but also to become faith partners for life. God has proven to continually lay his hand on their relationship, and Grace and Trevor are so excited to get married in June! 

After graduation, Grace plans to stay in the Jackson area for a bit longer as she transitions into married life. Eventually, she wants to live in a bigger city where she can pursue her desired career in sports business and trusts God to lead her where she is meant to be. She is open-minded and wants to travel a lot in her newly married life! 

In her four years at Spring Arbor, Grace has positively impacted so many classmates, teammates, and professors and will be missed by many!  

Good luck, Grace! 

Written by SAU Marketing student Autumn Tingue.