DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University student-athletes Sarah Furey (field hockey) and Gabe Brandner (football) have been awarded Heidrick Family Leadership Postgraduate Scholarships as announced Monday at the sixth annual Student-Athlete Talent and Recognition Show (STARS).
Established in 2015 through a generous gift from the late Bob Heidrick and his family, the scholarship seeks to recognize leaders within the student-athlete community at Duke. In particular, recipients are selected based upon demonstrated growth in the area of leadership and how they have used those skills to enhance the community around them. The scholarships are viewed as an investment in the recipients and their potential for service through leadership in the future.
Brandner, who graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in evolutionary anthropology and a minor in chemistry and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in liberal studies, received four letters and a pair of CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District III accolades. He appeared in 41 career games and started the last 36 at left tackle. His play helped Duke to 28 wins over four seasons, three bowl game appearances (2014 Hyundai Sun, 2015 New Era Pinstripe Bowl and 2017 Quick Lane Bowl) and two bowl victories.
On the field in 2017, Brandner was a member of an offensive front that helped Duke close the year as one of six ACC teams to compile 2,200 or more rushing yards and 2,700 or more passing yards. He helped the Blue Devils rank tied for fourth in fewest sacks allowed per game and fifth in first downs per game in the ACC in league action and helped open holes for a Duke rushing attack that featured three players with 500 or more ground yards for the first time in school history.
For his work in the classroom and within the community, Brandner was the recipient of a 2018 ACC Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, a postgraduate scholarship worth $5,000. Brandner was also named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for excellence in community service during 2017 season. During his final year with the program he was selected as a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy and William V. Campbell Trophy.
Furey, who will earn a degree in psychology with a certificate in markets and management studies, is a four-year starter on the Blue Devils’ back line and guided the program to four-consecutive NCAA quarterfinal appearances that included a trip to the national semifinals in 2015. The Mt. Laurel, N.J., native started in all 82 games played and was a second team NFHCA All-South Region selection as a senior.
Furey helped produce a Duke defensive unit that ranked among the national leaders in goals against average and was named a field captain as a senior and vice captain during her junior campaign. Furey was named the Caitlin Williams Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and helped anchor a veteran back line that ranked among the top 10 teams in the country in shutouts (7) and goals against average (1.28).
In addition to her successes on the field, Furey is a four-year member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad and a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team.