Benjamin "Benji" Wilton '24 earns the Roemmich "Hammer" Award

2024 Hammer Award recipient

2024 Hammer Award recipient

Benjamin "Benji" Wilton ‘24 has recently been presented the Lindsay Roemmich Sport Management Achievement Award for 2024.

“It's very humbling to be recognized as this year's recipient of the Roemmich Award.” Wilton said. “I can think of so many peers who have contributed so much to the Sport Management major, and to be recognized for my contributions to this community is truly an honor. I hope that I was able to give back even a small fraction of what I gained from SMGT faculty and my classmates.”

Every year, the faculty and staff of the Department of Sport Management casts their votes to select the Roemmich Award recipient from the list of graduating seniors. The award is presented annually to the graduating senior who best exhibits (1) academic excellence, (2) external sport management experience, (3) a positive attitude, and (4) a dedication to improving the Department of Sport Management during their tenure as a Rice undergraduate Sport Management major.

“Benji Wilton is one of the brightest students I’ve had the opportunity to teach.” Dianne Crossey, Professor in Practice of the Department of Sport Management, said. “Besides his academic excellence, Benji has always been committed to improving the Department of Sport Management. He always has a positive attitude and helps other students achieve their best. Benji is a great recipient of the 2024 Roemmich Award.”

Wilton came into Rice unbeknownst of the Sport Management major until learning about it during Orientation Week, after which he enrolled in Introduction to Sport Management (SMGT 260). After taking some time to explore other opportunities, he returned to Sport Management by enrolling in the Sport Management Practicum (SMGT 276) course as a sophomore, this was the experience that led to his full commitment to the major.

“I was able to parlay my experience interning at Machete Group through the Sport Management Practicum class into a Business Intelligence role with the St. Louis Blues during Summer 2022, where I spent two years as a member of the organization, working in-person during summers and contributing remotely during the school year.” Wilton said. “Getting to work for my hometown NHL team in a business strategy capacity was a dream come true, and I am immensely grateful to the department for preparing me to achieve such a goal.”

In addition to the experiences that fostered Wilton’s interest for the Sport Management field, he explained that a big deciding factor in pursuing the major was the supportive environment.

“One of my highest priorities in picking a major was having supportive and involved faculty, and this was exactly what I found across the department, and especially through Professor Stallings's career development advising.” Wilton said. “I was certain that the Sport Management faculty would support me in achieving my highest aspirations, and felt confident that I had found a home here.”

A busy man during his time on campus, Wilton actually had two majors (Sport Management & History) as well as two minors (Business & Politics, Law, and Social Thought). Now with commencement over, Wilton will be staying in Houston where he has accepted a position at Eventellect as a Business Analyst on its Underwriting & Finance team.

Sergio Rojas, a sophomore from Houston, Texas, is double-majoring in Business with a concentration in Finance and also Sport Management with a concentration in Leadership.