She’s always on the run!
by Donna Parker
It’s a good thing she’s athletic! Mary Ullmann Japhet ’84 is not only the associate executive director, external affairs for the San Antonio Sports Foundation, she’s on the Trinity National Alumni Board, coordinates the Diamond Shamrock Go! Kids Challenge for 160,000 children and is a loving mom to her young children. Stamina is an invaluable commodity, especially when you’re involved in bringing the NCAA Final Four to San Antonio—three times!
“That’s an enormous event every major city covets. Seeing it through to completion was tremendous and a lot of fun!” she says. Modestly she mentions that the 2004 NCAA Final Four delivered more than $55 million dollars in direct visitor spending to the city of San Antonio.
Now involved with bidding for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, Mary still believes the organization’s youth initiatives are its heart and soul.
“When I get frustrated on big projects, I visit our fencing gym and watch the kids practice and have fun. It’s great to know they can attend college on scholarship as part of our Dreams for Youth program.”
At home, Mary and her husband Chuck, focus on 7-year-old Kapp and 4-year-old Ali. She says being a mom is life affirming and when asked her greatest achievement, she quickly responds, “My children!” She and Chuck, also an ’84 Trinity grad, cheer their kids in soccer and baseball, underscoring the fact that sports is an integral factor for this family. In fact, the Japhet romance began when Mary asked Chuck on a first date to a Spurs game. Each had recently returned from the West Coast after several years in Los Angeles, where they lived just a mile apart, but never crossed paths. That happened when they moved back to San Antonio and bumped into each other at a restaurant.
When asked how she’s different now ‘from the day she graduated,’ Japhet laughingly replies, “Well, I can’t run as fast or jump as high, but I’m doing ok. I’ve gained perspective and realize my time at Trinity rewarded me with cherished lifelong friendships. Just by graduating, you’re in the club and there are no dues!”