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Southern Miss Receives Prestigious Halbrook Awards

Date    11-03-05
Contact Mike Montoro (601) 266-4503


HATTIESBURG – The University of Southern Mississippi was recognized with a Halbrook Award by the State Institution of Higher Learning today for graduating the highest percentage of male athletes in the state. In addition, tennis’ David Canudas and golf’s Jennifer Keefe were awarded Halbrook Certificates for Academic Achievement among athletes.

Director of Athletics Richard Giannini said the awards were a testimony to the university’s ability to compete on a national level both athletically and academically.

“This is a significant honor to have the highest percentage of male athletes graduating,” Giannini said. “We work hard to achieve high standards that our student-athletes continue to meet. It’s a tribute to the coaches and our staff across all programs for pushing academic success.”

The Halbrook Award recognizes colleges and universities that maintain and achieve high academic standards for student-athletes, thus encouraging high graduation rates.

The annual IHL Halbrook Award for Academic Achievement Among Athletes Program was authorized by House Concurrent Resolution No. 88 in 1984 and is named in honor of its founder and endower, former Representative David M. Halbrook and his brothers, John C. Halbrook, James G. Halbrook and J.A. Halbrook.

Canudas, a first team All-Conference USA selection in 2005, ended his collegiate career with an 18-9 mark at No. 1 singles and 11-5 record at No. 3 doubles. The Barcelona, Spain, native was one of 16 players selected for a Conference USA Sportsmanship Award in 2005.

Keefe, a native of Winterpark, Fla., completed her senior season in the spring, finishing with a scoring average of 79.4. She posted three top-25 finishes and two top 10s, including a third-place finish. Keefe is now attending law school at LSU. A 2004 All-Conference USA selection, Keefe was one of 300 collegiate players to be named to the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar teams, also earning the honor in 2004.

Each year, there is a ceremony to present the Halbrook Awards in Jackson, but it was cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina.

“Hurricane Katrina affected many of our colleges and universities, directly or indirectly. It was the consensus of the member institutions that the general needs of the state would be better met if the conference and luncheon were cancelled this year,” said Dr. Ronald Mason Jr., Jackson State University president and 2004-05 president of the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities. “We thought it would be appropriate to proceed with recognizing outstanding student-athletes, colleges and universities that maintain high academic standards for student-athletes and encourage high graduation rates.”

For more information, contact Mike Montoro at (601) 266-4503 or visit the Web at

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Last updated: 01/09/06

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