OXFORD, Ohio -- An elite group of nearly 50 Miami University student-athletes will gather tonight (Mar. 18) at the Benton Hall Auditorium to be awarded what promises to be one of their most prized possessions: a Miami varsity letter jacket.

Presented by the Red & White Club, this semi-annual event symbolically represents the athletes' reward for a specified level of participation and/or performance with their chosen sport, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century at Miami. Athletes from six different sports--field hockey, soccer, women's cross country, volleyball, tennis and football--will be honored at this event.

It's the fifth such formal event held at the university. Athletes from the sports of golf, synchronized skating, ice hockey, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, cheerleading, baseball, softball, men's and women's  track and field, and tennis were honored last December.

Director of Athletics DAVID SAYLER and several RedHawk coaches will preside over this ceremony at Miami. Former football letter winner MIKE BATH, RedHawk assistant coach, will offer personal reflections on the importance of the jacket before they are presented to more than 70 student-athletes.

Family members and friends of the honored student-athletes are invited to attend the ceremony, as is the general public. Monday's event begins at 7 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Benton Hall is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of High Street and Tallawanda in Oxford.

The Red & White Club is the official fundraising organization that supports Miami University Athletics' annual scholarship needs. Active membership starts at $100 each year. In addition to making an investment in Miami student-athletes, Red & White Club members can receive exclusive benefits, including special event invitations, preferred seating, parking and postseason ticket opportunities. For more information about the Red & White Club, call (513)529-8097 or visit www.MURedHawks.com.