DURHAM, N.C. – Four Duke student-athletes have been selected as recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, as announced Thursday by Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) commissioner John D. Swofford.
The ACC named Abby Johnston (swimming and diving), Cydney Ross (cross country/track and field) and Tara Campbell (women’s soccer) as recipients of the postgraduate scholarship award, while Ryan Kelly (men’s basketball) was named an honorary recipient of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award.
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 to contribute to their graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and his/her respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, five student-athletes - including Kelly - will receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award. These five will be recognized for their outstanding academic and athletic performance.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, all of whom are former 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.
Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served in that capacity 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 of 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. 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.
Biographical Sketches of Award Winners:
Tara Campbell; Civil Engineering; Soccer; Cincinnati, Ohio
Tara Campbell was a two-time All-ACC Second Team selection for the Blue Devil women’s soccer team. She closed her Duke career as one of the top goalkeepers in school history with 30 shutouts, a 0.91 goals against average and 302 saves. Campbell, who was a two-time team captain, led Duke to the NCAA College Cup in 2011, which marked the Blue Devils’ first appearance in the Final Four since 1992. She totaled a school-record 13 shutouts as a junior and helped lead Duke to 54 career wins in the net. Campbell was a finalist for the 2011 Shutout Central Women’s NCAA Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Abby Johnston; Psychology; Diving; Upper Arlington, Ohio
An Olympic silver medalist and three time All-American, Abby Johnston has been a standout on the collegiate, national and international diving circuits. She claimed the first national title for the Duke Women’s Swimming and Diving program in 2011 on the 3-meter springboard and has won five ACC titles during her career. Equally as dedicated in the classroom, Johnston is also a three-year member of the ACC Academic Team and ACC Academic Honor Roll, a participant in the Collegiate Athlete Premedical Experience program and will graduate from Duke in May with a degree in psychology.
Cydney Ross; Public Policy; Cross Country and Track & Field; St. Louis, Mo.
Ross, a two-time All-America honoree, serves as a Duke track and field team captain and is a three-time NCAA championship qualifier. The St. Louis, Mo., native was also a member of the 2011 Penn Relays 4x800 Championship team. A four-time Academic All-ACC honoree, Ross has earned her B.A. in public policy and a minor in African American Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Management Studies and has served as a First Year A.C.T.I.O.N. mentor, a Read with the Blue Devils volunteer and in a variety of other community service activities during her tenure at Duke.
Ryan Kelly; Public Policy Studies; Basketball; Raleigh, N.C.
A two-time team captain, Kelly is one of the winningest players in Duke basketball history with a career record of 105-13 (.890) that ranks third all-time at Duke in winning percentage. A two-time member of the All-ACC Academic Basketball Team and three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection, Kelly is a career .393 shooter from three-point range and in 2012-13 started Duke’s first 15 games before suffering a foot injury, leading Duke to a 15-0 record while averaging career highs in points (13.4), rebounds (5.4), assists (1.5), and blocks per game (1.7), while shooting a career-best .521 (25-of-48) from three-point range. The MVP of the 2011 Maui Invitational, Kelly is active in community service efforts in Read with the Blue Devils, the Duke Children’s Hospital and The Monday Life.