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 www.southernmiss.collegesports.com.
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