DURHAM, N.C. – Five Duke student athletes, the most in the four-year history of the Student Affairs Distinguished Leadership and Service Awards Program, were honored Wednesday evening for their service and leadership on the Duke campus.
Akinbiyi, a graduating senior, was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which recognizes selflessness, generosity of service, nobility of character, integrity and depth of spirituality. A four-year letterman and two-year starter at defensive end, Akinbiyi finished his career with 120 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 quarterback sacks. In 2008, he led Duke in both tackles for loss, sacks and earned the program's Outstanding Defensive Lineman award. He also served as team captain as a senior.
Gay, another graduating senior, was the recipient of the William J. Griffith Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Durham and Local Communities, which is presented to a select number of graduating students for their efforts in the community and significantly impacting University life. A four-year letterwinner on the women's basketball team, Gay guided the Blue Devils to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2006 National Championship game. She was an All-ACC Tournament first team selection, after notching a season-high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the ACC title game.
The Lars Lyon Volunteer Service Award was presented to Tsipis, a rising junior, for his volunteer efforts outside of the Duke campus. A two-year letterwinner as a goalkeeper for the men's soccer team, Tsipis is an outstanding campus leader who was selected to represent Duke at the 2009 National Student-Athlete Development Conference. He also participated in the Coach for College program in Vietnam in 2008.
Morgan, a rising junior, and Granson, a rising senior, were honored with Leading at Duke Award. Both Morgan and Granson were recognized with the award for their outstanding contributions to the Duke and Durham communities.
A starting center as a sophomore in 2008, Morgan anchored an offensive line unit that reduced the number of sacks allowed from 45 in 2007 to 22. Granson, a three-year letterwinner for the women's tennis team, is part of the 16th-ranked doubles tandem that is 20-13 overall this season. She is 25-13 and ranked 74th in singles currently, while earning All-America honors for her doubles play in 2007. She sports a career record of 72-34 in singles and a 68-38 mark in doubles action.
Ten total student athletes were nominated for awards, also the most in the history of the event.
Other student-athletes receiving nominations were Lauren Gonzalez (Women’s Swimming and Diving) for the Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award, Ali Comolli (Field Hockey) for the Julie Anne Levey Memorial Leadership Award and Andrew Wolcott (Baseball), Matt Williams (Baseball) and Anna Farias-Eisner (Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field) for the Student Affairs Distinguished Leadership/Service Award. Wolcott was nominated for Promotion of the Ideals of Community, Wolcott for Expanding the Boundaries of Learning and Farias-Eisner for Building Alliances through Collective Engagement.
The ceremony was held in Scharf Hall of the Michael W. Krzyzewski Center for Academic and Athletic Excellence.