Teri McKeever Scholarship recipient helps Bears win the Pac-12 title
Junior Alicia Wilson, who hails from Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom, helped Cal women’s swimming & diving claim the Pac-12 Championship last month and took top honors in the 200 individual medley. Alicia shares her thoughts on what it means to her to be a scholarship student-athlete at Cal and her gratitude for Michael Go for starting the Teri McKeever Women’s Swimming Scholarship, which Alicia represents.
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It is very different coming from another country. When I first visited Cal, my goal was to get my foot in the door and have Teri let me be on the team. It wasn’t even about a scholarship initially. Walking through Haas Pavilion and seeing everyone’s photos on the wall and seeing the recipients on the plaques, I thought it was pretty cool. It was at that moment I wanted to be one of the people who had their picture on the wall.
It is definitely a huge privilege to have a scholarship. Seeing the people who have come before me and knowing that I am in that calibre and on track with where they were is so inspiring. Seeing the history of who have been recipients of those scholarships is the coolest thing for me. Some of these people went to the Olympics and medaled there and broke world records. It is definitely a cool club to be in and to be viewed in a similar way to those people is a great honor.
I was shocked how much I progressed as a swimmer but also as Alicia the student. I have joined so many different clubs and became vice-president of a club this year. Sports helped me get my foot in the door at Cal, but I also really enjoy being a student and getting to know all of my professors. I was excited to be admitted into the business school. I never thought I would enjoy my life outside of swimming and in the classroom so much. Nor did I think I would truly discover my academic passions the way I have at Cal.
The first time I ever saw Michael (Go), he came to one of our practice sessions at Legends. He was at the Pac-12 Championships my freshman and sophomore year, and had it not been for COVID, I know that he would have been at Pac-12s this year. Every time I speak to him, he’s so gentle and kind. It meant a lot to me that Michael was so interested and caring about me as a person even as a freshman when I wasn’t a huge player on the team, and I wasn’t a recipient of a scholarship my freshman year. My mom flew out to Pac-12s, and he made a point of staying at a hotel with the parents and my mom. Getting to know her and every other parent, that hands on approach really meant a lot to me. It is special to me knowing that Michael’s dedication to the program started with just one encounter with Teri through his physio profession, but an encounter that has truly changed my life. Despite only being the second recipient of the Teri McKeever Scholarship, I feel privileged to represent Michael and his long-time commitment to this incredible program and university.