GREENSBORO, N.C. – Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today a list of 41 student-athletes who have been selected for the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, including three student-athletes who will receive the Thacker Award. Five student-athletes who plan to enter a professional career in their chosen sport were named honorary recipients.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes – three from each league institution – who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $5,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, five student-athletes will receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award. Two football players – North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper and NC State’s Michael Glennon – along with Duke basketball player Ryan Kelly, Virginia swimmer Lauren Perdue, and Wake Forest golfer Evan Beck will be recognized for their outstanding academic and athletic performances.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, the first three ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954-70 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.
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 given 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. Recipients of the award must demonstrate outstanding performance both in athletic competition and in the classroom and intend to further their education through postgraduate studies at an ACC institution.
The 41 student-athletes will be honored at the annual ACC Postgraduate Luncheon presented by ESPN on April 17, 2013, in the Guilford Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro at the Four Seasons.
Rashard Hall; Clemson; Marketing; Football; St. Augustine, Fla. (Thacker Award)
Hall started 40-of-53 games from 2009-12, compiling 302 career tackles and 14 interceptions to help the Tigers reach 36 wins and three Atlantic Division Championships or co-championships. Ranked third in program history in takeaways with 17 and fourth in career interceptions with 14, Hall had 85 tackles as a senior to rank third on the team that finished at 11-2 and ranked in the top 10. Hall led Clemson’s 2011 ACC Championship team in tackles with 89. A 2009 freshman All-American, Hall completed his undergraduate degree in just three years and was one of 30 semifinalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award. He was also named to the All-ACC Second Team and was recognized as Academic All-ACC three times. The Clemson nominee for the 2012 Allstate Goodworks team, he spent countless hours on community service projects the last four years.
Natalie Patzin; Clemson; Bioengineering; Volleyball; Naperville, Ill.
Patzin, a four-year starter for the volleyball team, was one of the most consistently excellent performers in the classroom and on the court, on her way to three Academic All-ACC honors. She moved from outside hitter to libero as a junior, and finished her career third in school history in digs (1,460) and fourth in career digs per set (3.17). In 2012, she ranked fourth in the conference with 4.49 per set, and was successful in serve receive in more than 97 percent of her serve receives. The bioengineering major has maintained a high GPA, and has been involved in many academic initiatives as she prepares to attend medical school.
Alexa Rand; Clemson; Special Education; Volleyball; Mentor, Ohio
The two-time Academic All-ACC selection and 2011 All-ACC honoree is one of the most prolific middle blockers in ACC history. Rand closed her career second in the top ten in ACC history in career blocks per set, and 614 totals blocks and 517 block assists, the 2nd-best mark in school history in both categories. Her career .334 hitting ranks third in Clemson history, and she finished with 822 career kills. She twice finished in the top ten nationally in blocking, and once in hitting percentage. Rand is currently student-teaching and has completed numerous community service efforts, including the scheduling of student-athlete mentors with local children.