Mario Lipari, ’13, remembers a club lacrosse practice during which it was snowing, the ground was completely covered in white flakes, and his teammates could barely see each other — let alone the lacrosse balls.

“No one really wanted to be there, but the fact that everyone was there made it worth it in the end,” he says.

Lipari started playing lacrosse in third grade in Long Island, N.Y., where he hopes to return after graduating from the Robins School of Business with a major in finance and a minor in leadership studies. The business school was the main attraction when Lipari was considering Richmond, although he says it never really occurred to him that he would play lacrosse here as well.

“I joined club lacrosse my freshman year, and don’t even remember playing a game in the spring,” Lipari says. “We played some games in the fall, but lacrosse is a spring sport.”

Lipari says that there was plenty of talent among the players. But between busy academic and extracurricular schedules it was hard to pull the club lacrosse program together, and the team “was kind of a mess.”

Despite that somewhat rocky beginning, though, the team had a great deal of alumni support. Thanks to a push from past players and general interest in the advancement of the lacrosse program, the University made the decision to move the team to the next level. At the end of his freshman year, Lipari and his teammates were told that the lacrosse program was being elevated to a varsity club team.

“We met in the sports game room in the Weinstein Center to talk about next year and the potential we thought the program had,” Lipari says. “We had elections, and I ran for vice president and got the position. By sophomore year, we had a good amount of funding and a coach. It was great being able to help out with the hiring process.”

Lipari’s involvement and leadership is not limited to just the lacrosse program, but extends to other areas on campus as well. He is a member of the Richmond Honor Council and writes for The Spider Financial a weekly newsletter for business school students and others.

The Spider Financial pulls from the weekly edition of the Wall Street Journal and makes the current events accessible and relevant to business school students. The newsletter also includes a “Word of the Week” by business professors or students, advice from Richmond alumni working in the finance industry, and an international column written by Lipari.

“We want to help students stay up to date on events in the business world, especially because that knowledge can come in handy during an interview,” Lipari says. “We also want to give incoming freshman immediate access to current events relevant to their studies in business, especially for those who haven’t been exposed to all of it yet.”