By Alyssa Cantisani, UConn athletic communications
It isn't often that a voice can captivate an audience filled with loud sports fanatics, athletes and coaches but the voice of Sergeant Major Frank May does just that.
Frank graduated UConn in 1984 and has been singing the national anthem at various UConn football, basketball, soccer and hockey games for over twenty years. Frank started his Husky career as a business finance student, but in his senior year, decided to change it to something he was truly passionate about, music education.
Frank lives and breathes UConn with most of his family having a close connection to the University as well. His older brother and sister, his wife and two sons have all attended the University. UConn isn't just where Frank spent four plus years getting an education. This is where he found his wife, pursued his career and made friends that have and will continue to last a lifetime. Coming back time and again is a simple way to thank this University for all it has given him.
Currently, Frank is on active duty stationed in Fort Knox, Ky. currently living in Griswold, Conn. Despite the traveling that Frank does for the Army, he continues to travel back to UConn to sing for us and represent his country in one of the best ways he knows how.
"When I step out onto the floor or field to lead in the singing of our national anthem, I feel I'm representing everyone who has served, both past and present. It's my way of giving back. It's very humbling," said Frank.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into those three short and moving minutes right before the game commences. "On a day that I'm singing the national anthem, I have to make sure three things happen: I have my uniform all together; see how my voice is working that day; and get to the event on time," said Frank.
UConn has always meant a lot to Frank from the outstanding education to the "college experience" in general and that is one of the reasons why the decision to keep coming back is so simple for him. Not only does coming back to UConn make him feel that incredible sense of community that students and faculty have the pleasure of feeling day in and day out but Frank is able to feel that same connection being in the Army.
When it comes to the May's there are two things that run in their family, UConn and the Army. Frank's father served in the Army during the Korean war while many of his uncles, friends and family have served in the Armed Forces.
"Many people don't know what the national anthem is. Officially, it is to `render honors to the nation.' Many have given themselves for America to grow, evolve, and sustain. I lead the singing of our national anthem because it is my way of giving back to those who made those sacrifices -- to both America and UConn. It is an honor and a privilege," said Frank.
This year marks another year that we get the privilege of welcoming Sergeant Major Frank May into athletics and get the opportunity to watch something special happen on our campus.
"One of the best moments for me is when the announcer starts to announce our national anthem and the arena or stadium immediately goes silent. Fans who know of the customs and courtesies take their hats off, put their right-hand over their heart, and sing along," said Frank, "it can be a very emotional experience out there in the middle of the court."
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