MLS Alumna Hope Hisey's Scholar-Athlete Journey Spurs Creation of New Courses, Scholarships

Feb. 26, 2024

With a gift from donors, the college will allocate $40,000 to develop new courses and $50,000 for the creation of a new scholarship fund.

Hope Hisey

Hope Hisey had a thrilling year in 2023. She competed in her final season with the University of Arizona’s women’s soccer program as goalkeeper, where she broke the program record for saves with 361, placing her eighth of all-time in Pac-12 history. Additionally, she was named the 2023 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In December, she capped things off by graduating with her master’s degree in legal studies (MLS) from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law with a 4.0 GPA, achieving a perfect academic record.

Hisey’s winning streak has continued into 2024, thanks to a donation made on her behalf that will impact future generations of students. In support of her receipt of the scholar-athlete award, a generous anonymous Arizona donor pledged $180,000 that would be split between her academic program and her sport. The MLS program received $90,000, which will now go to areas with the chance to create the largest impact as well as securing Hisey’s legacy at the College of Law for years to come.

“​​This past year, in particular, the main question I've been asking myself as I reached the end of my college career was, what legacy do I want to leave? What kind of impact do I want to leave?” explained Hisey. “I think it was Becky Sauerbrun from the Women's National Soccer who said that ‘The greatest legacy you can leave is that you’re not missed.’ Being from Tucson, and loving the University the way that I do, it is my goal to leave the program and the academic institution as a whole in a better place than when I started. I'm forever grateful to the donors for making this possible. At the end of the day anything I did on the field will never hold as much weight as all the things that you can do as an individual off the field.”  

The college plans on allocating $40,000 to develop new courses for future MLS students with a particular focus on media, entertainment, sports and arts. Based on feedback from Hisey herself, the curriculum will delve deeper into areas such as contracts, ethics, copyright and trademark, agency, name-image-likeness, NCAA regulation, unionization and Title IX.   

“Some lessons from the program that I'll take into my professional life are how to convey complicated things in a simplistic manner, how to negotiate succinctly and how to look at things through as objective a lens as possible,” explained Hisey. “Going into contract negotiations, or even as I've had conversations with different brands that have reached out to me about things like merchandising and sponsorships, I’ve used those lessons to help me stay true to what I want out of the partnership and not be taken advantage of. I think these are valuable lessons for anyone to learn.”

The college also plans to use the remaining $50,000 to create a scholarship fund for MLS students. At least 25 eligible students will be selected to receive up to $2,000 in scholarship funds that will go toward tuition for the MLS, a program that is already recognized as one of the most affordable in the country. 

“Being able to work with Hope to create these additional courses and establish this scholarship program was a wonderful experience,” explained Keith Swisher, director of the MLS program. “Her remarkable achievements both on and off the field and her dedication to excellence, exemplified by breaking records in athletics and academia alike, inspired us all."

This past January, Hisey was drafted to the Kansas City Current where her legacy will undoubtedly continue to grow.