I knew who Mildred was, but really met her at the 1999 CUSA Basketball Tournament in Birmingham. She was at every game that weekend–not every Charlotte game–but every game of the tournament. After Bobby Lutz and the team made an unlikely four day run up through the bracket to win the tournament the 49er Club hosted a celebration at the team hotel with pizza and open bar. I asked Mildred if I could bring her something from the bar, and she said she would like a “bourbon and branch, without too much branch”. I knew then we were going to be friends. I had the opportunity to be one of the people that nominated Mildred for the Alumni of Choice award, which she was very proud to accept as she was a Niner to her bones.
In the last few years Mildred slowed down considerably, but still prioritized coming to 49ers games while she could. As a young program we still have many of the fans around that built our program. They lived through the beginning, the highs in '76 and '77 when we went to the Final Four, and were still showing up for every game when we were at our lowest point a few years later. Mildred, and those like her, didn’t promise to support the program when things were going well, they just supported “their” program. I am not sure we will ever be able to replace them, and I am sad to see we have lost another one.
Godspeed Mildred, and Go Niners!