Kelly Sledzinski attended Penn State Worthington Scranton for just two years, but during that short time, she left an unforgettable mark on her friends, teachers, coaches and just about anyone who came into contact with her.
A dean's list student and accomplished athlete, Kelly was a familiar face around campus, attending most of the events and activities that took place there, and always willing to lend a helping hand whenever one was needed.
Dr. Mary-Beth Krogh-Jespersen, chancellor, described her as a special angel, who left a lasting impression on anyone who had the opportunity to meet her and get to know her.
Unfortunately, Kelly's time was cut way too short, way too soon. In January, 2009, she was diagnosed with leukemia and after a short, but very courageous battle with the disease, she died on July 3, 2009.
Her death shook the Worthington Scranton community and those who knew her best. Especially affected were her teammates and coaches on the Lady Lions basketball team, including best friend Mallory Pencek, who described her as having an unstoppable spirit and a drive to always do the best she could in any situation.
On Feb. 15, just before that evening's women's basketball game, the campus came together to honor Kelly's memory.
Speakers during the ceremony included Dr. Krogh-Jespersen, Jeff Mallas, assistant athletic director, and Ms. Pencek, who is now the assistant coach for the Lady Lions.
Her parents, Ann and Michael Sledzinski were presented with a memorial plaque and the #20 jersey she so proudly wore, which is now officially retired. The first jersey in the campus' history ever to be retired.
Another plaque and her alternate jersey were also put on display in the campus' main building -- The Dawson Building -- as a campus tribute to Kelly's memory and spirit.