Murfreesboro resident and longtime MTSU equestrian team coach Anne Brzezicki knew all about a retirement celebration dinner planned for her in the James Union Building.
However, she was totally unaware friends planned a surprise that remained a secret for weeks and months: The large Horse Science Center indoor facility would bear her name -- "Anne Brzezicki Arena."
Boulder, Colorado, residents Lanas and Julie Smith, MTSU alumni and longtime friends of both the program and Brzezicki, retained the naming rights for the Anne Brzezicki Arena through their generous gift to the MTSU Foundation to enclose the area.
When Brzezicki retired earlier this year after a very successful 35-year career, there was only one individual the Smiths wanted the building to be named for, and it was her.
"After all the years of putting my heart and soul the program, a permanent piece of me is now there -- and that means a lot," Brzezicki said.
In Brzezicki's retirement, there's an opportunity for the public "to support the work she holds dear" by giving to the Anne Brzezicki Equestrian Endowment, said Jared Bryson, development director for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
Giving can be completed online at www.mtsu.edu/supportag, then direct your gifts to this endowment in the comments section. The funds "will support broader student experiences through the purchase of critical new equipment and enable travel to competitions across the country," Bryson added.
"In order to stay on the forefront of equestrian education and produce graduates that are highly competitive, we need the ability to secure student learning experiences and enhance existing facilities," Bryson said.
This fall, in addition to personal teaching lessons she offers, Brzezicki already has attended the All-American Quarter Horse Congress -- the world's largest single breed horse show outside of the Olympics -- in Columbus, Ohio, and will be attending the Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference Oct. 26-29 in Lexington, Kentucky.
To learn more about the horse science program, visit https://www.mtsu.edu/programs/horse-science/ or call 615-898-2832.