Marymount Swimmer Honored by Catholic Athletes for Christ

Bridget Wunderly, a Marymount University senior, has received the Catholic Athletes for Christ Award in recognition of her athletics, service and work with the school’s campus ministry.

Formed in 2005, Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) is a national organization that works with church leadership and Catholic organizations. It ministers to athletes, coaches and staff and organizes conferences, pilgrimages, retreats and days of reflection.

Wunderly, the daughter of John and Dottie Wunderly of Manassas, is a varsity swimmer, leads two Bible study groups, serves on the campus ministry’s leadership team and has volunteered on a variety of service initiatives, including feeding the D.C.-area homeless and going on alternative spring breaks to Michigan and Jamaica.

“The award gives me confidence in what I’m doing as an athlete and a woman of faith,” said Wunderly, a senior accounting and finance major.

Father Brian Bashista, chaplain and director of MU’s Campus Ministry Association, called her a “quiet, reserved servant leader.”

“She doesn’t like to draw attention to herself but loves to draw attention to the faith and to the faith of others,” Bashista said.

“She’s very humble,” added Ashton Mallon, assistant director of campus ministry. “People look to her. She’s very authentic in the way she lives her life and is constant and dependable. She doesn’t come across as judgmental or preachy, but she’s not to going to shy away from living her faith.”

Wunderly is grateful for her experience at Marymount.

“I’ve met a lot of different people, learned about different cultures and traveled,” she said. “I’ve grown in my school work, grown in my faith and grown all around as a person.”

A competitive swimmer since age 8, she currently swims the 100 and 200m butterfly and mid-distance freestyle.

Her future goals are also service driven.

“I want to do something where I can see myself making a difference, whether that’s working for a small accounting firm or working with a nonprofit,” she said. “Service is a big part of who I am.”

This is the first year CAC honored student athletes from Marymount University and Christendom College, which are both within the Diocese of Arlington.

The awards event was held Oct. 21 at the Top of the Town reception and conference center in Rosslyn. In addition to her parents, Bashista and Mallon, others attending from the Marymount family included: President Matthew D. Shank and First Lady Lynne Shank; Director of Athletics Debra Warren; Director of Athletics Advancement Jamie Reynolds and her husband, Men’s Lacrosse Coach Jon Reynolds; Vice President for Student Development Linda McMurdock; Father Bashista’s parents, John and Aileen Bashista; and Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Christa McMahon.