2013 Black Excellence Awards Honoree Adrienne Ridgeway

March 15, 2013
Adrienne Ridgeway Marquette University

Adrienne Ridgeway
Marquette University


Adrienne Ridgeway, was born and raised in the inner city of Milwaukee, and later her parents moved with the family to north of Good Hope Road. She attended Fox Point and Bayside schools, then went on to Nicolet High School, where her love of athletics came to life. It was while visiting various colleges and universities that Howard University in Washington, DC, approached Adrienne and offered her a full track scholarship. Adrienne stayed for an additional two years because Howard also granted her a scholarship for graduate school, so she earned both her bachelor and master of science degrees in speech language pathology from Howard.

Adrienne expressed, “Attending an HBCU was an experience I didn’t know I needed until I actually arrived there. I had gotten really comfortable along the way educationally by always being the real smart black kid and allowing that to be my benchmark of success. It was when I got to college that everyone was equal and so it wasn’t any longer being the smart black kid, it was literally striving to be at the top and that was the fi rst time I had that experience.”

Up until college Adrienne had never even had a teacher that looked like her, so even getting used to being taught by somebody who did, made her succeed all the more. Being amongst her teammates as an athlete made the entire experience even better. There were seven all on scholarship and to this day, they remain friends.

Before sports administration was even on the radar at most universities, Adrienne took a chance at a part-time position running the study hall program at Marquette University. Shortly thereafter a full-time coordinator of academics position opened up. Adrienne began specifically working with men’s basketball at Marquette, and was their study hall contact person. In her role, Adrienne runs academic support programs for student athletes and monitors men’s basketball and their progress towards a degree.

Additionally, she makes sure student athletes are eligible to compete and that their talents are being used for basketball with the ultimate goal of obtaining a degree.

“My position is really responsible for helping student athletes who lack the focus to still be committed to getting a degree, by offering tutorial services in every single subject, advising, and all the tools and resources designed so that students are successful,” Adrienne said.

When she thinks back to growing up in Milwaukee, Adrienne fondly remembers her parents being very heavily involved with service, civic and church activities; and they took Adrienne and her sister Amanda along on everything. Living in DC sparked her involvement even more actively in the community. As a student at Howard University, she was integrated in being an active part of community service activities. Being a member of the Marquette University community was the final formation for Adrienne to be a servant to others. In fact, one of the responsibilities in her position is providing community service projects for the students.

Adrienne and her husband, Lavar, who also works in sports, have a 18-month-old daughter named Brooke. She is a member of Tabernacle Community Baptist Church and is active in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., and The Links.