April 20, 2009
Women’s tennis senior Ania Rynarzewska and track and field’s Keyla Smith and Matt Wernke are among 42 Atlantic Coast Conference scholar-athletes who have been named recipients of postgraduate scholarships, as announced by Commissioner John D. Swofford. The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker scholarships are given to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate-level degree following graduation.
Each recipient will receive $5,000 to use towards his or her graduate education. Student-athletes receiving the award have performed with distinction in both the classroom and in their respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. Recipients of the award must demonstrate outstanding performance both in athletic competition and in the classroom and intend to further their education through post-graduate studies at an ACC institution.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, six student-athletes will receive Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Awards. These students will be recognized for their outstanding performance in both athletic competition and the classroom throughout their collegiate careers and intend to compete at the Olympic or professional level.
The 42 student-athletes were honored April 15, 2009, in Greensboro, N.C., at a luncheon hosted by the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club and held at the Koury Convention Center.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James as well as Gene Corrigan, all former ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954 to 1970 after a stint as the Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University. His early leadership and uncompromising integrity are largely responsible for the excellent reputation enjoyed by the ACC today.
Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served for 16 years. During his tenure, the league continued to grow in stature and became recognized as a national leader in athletics and academics, winning 23 national championships and maintaining standards of excellence in the classroom. Eugene F. Corrigan assumed his role as the third full-time commissioner on September 1, 1987, and served until August of 1997. During Corrigan’s tenure, ACC schools captured 30 NCAA championships and two national football titles.
Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were given as separate honors. The Jim Weaver award, which originated in 1970, recognized exceptional achievement on the playing field and in the classroom, while the Bob James award, established in 1987, also honored outstanding student-athletes.
The Thacker award, which originated in 2005, is awarded in honor of the late Jim and Pat Thacker of Charlotte, N.C. Jim Thacker was the primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC’s first television network.
Weaver-James-Corrigan Award Recipients are as follows: Boston College – Caroline Byron (women’s swimming and diving); Bob Dirks (field hockey); Emily Hannigan (women’s lacrosse); Clemson – Megan Bendik (rowing). Jimmy Maners (football), Rachel Regone (women’s swimming and diving); Duke – Kim Imbesi (women’s lacrosse), Melissa Mang, (women’s tennis), Peter Truszkowski (fencing); Florida State – Ania Rynarzewska (women’s tennis); Keyla Smith (women’s track and field); Matt Wernke (men’s track and field); Georgia Tech – David Dragoo (men’s golf), Whitney Haller (softball); Jason Haniger (baseball), Maryland – Dean Muhtadi (football), Sarah Scholl (field hockey); Christen Vagts (water polo); Miami – Britta Boesing (women’s swimming and diving), Corynn Carino (women’s soccer), Nene Kamate, (women’s track and field); North Carolina – Brock Baker (men’s cross country), Kelly Davies (women’s volleyball), Kelly Taylor (women’s lacrosse) ; NC State – Aiwane Iboaya (volleyball), Tami Krzeszewski (women’s soccer); Ashley Shepard (gymnastics); Virginia – Billie-Jo Grant (women’s track and field), Ryan Hurley (men’s swimming and diving), Pat Mellors (men’s swimming and diving); Virginia Tech – Tasmin Fanning (women’s track and field); Kim Hickey (women’s soccer); Taylor Walsh (men’s soccer); Wake Forest – Sam Cronin (men’s soccer), Camelyn Dillon (women’s soccer), Natalie Mullikin (volleyball).
Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award Recipients are as follows: Duke – Amanda Blumenherst (women’s golf); Maryland – Dan Gronkowski (football); Miami – Jack McClinton (men’s basketball); North Carolina — Yael Averbuch (women’s soccer); NC State – Ben McCauley (men’s basketball); Virginia – Andrew Carraway (baseball).