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Four Yellow Jackets Named ACC Postgraduate Scholars

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech student-athletes McKenzie Campbell (swimming and diving), Connor Howe (golf), Emma Kauf (softball) and Dylan Leonard (football) have been named 2023 Atlantic Coast Conference Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipients, the ACC office announced on Friday.

The ACC’s postgraduate scholarship award recipients are selected for having performed with distinction both in the classroom and in their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. Campbell, Kauf and Leonard will all receive $6,000 Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Scholarships towards their postgraduate education following the conclusion of their respective collegiate playing careers. Howe is one of 11 honorary recipients who plan to pursue professional careers in their chosen sports rather than enter postgraduate studies.

Campbell carries a 4.0 grade point average as an industrial and systems engineering major and is a five-time NCAA Championships qualifier. Georgia Tech’s record-holder in the women’s 200-yard butterfly, Campbell represented the Yellow Jackets at the 2021 NCAA Championships in the 50-yard freestyle and 200 fly, and at the 2022 NCAA Championships in the 200 fly, 200 individual medley and 400 IM. In addition to holding the school record in the women’s 200 fly, the Greensboro, N.C. native owns the second-best time in Tech history in the women’s 200 IM. In recognition of her success in the pool and the classroom, she has previously been named a College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America scholar all-American and a member of the all-ACC academic team.

Howe was an all-ACC performer on the course in 2022 and is a two-time member of the conference’s academic honor roll as a business administration (finance) major. The Ogden, Utah native has been a key figure in Georgia Tech advancing to the NCAA Championship in three of his four years on The Flats (the 2020 event was not held due to Covid-19), and in the Jackets winning the ACC Championship in 2019 and finishing as the runner-up in 2022. He has played 128 rounds of golf in 42 events as a Yellow Jacket, finishing in the top 10 six times and compiling a 72.05 stroke average. His top finish has been a tie for third place at the 2022 Maui Jim Intercollegiate, and he earned a seventh-place finish at the 2022 NCAA Columbus Regional and a ninth-place showing at the 2021 ACC Championship. On the amateur circuit, Howe won the 2021 Patriot All-American Invitational and the 2020 Southeastern Amateur. He is currently ranked No. 31 nationally in the PGA Tour University Velocity Global Ranking and No. 57 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

One of college softball’s top catchers, Kauf is a two-time first-team all-ACC honoree and a two-time member of the all-ACC softball academic team. On the field, the Lincoln, Neb. native ranked second nationally in 2022 with an ACC-leading 25 doubles and also led the conference with 71 hits. In addition to being a two-time first-team all-ACC selection, she was also named second-team all-Southeast Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2022 and to the ACC’s all-freshman team in 2021. She entered the 2023 season ranked as the No. 8 catcher and the No. 85 player in the nation by D1Softball and the No. 10 catcher and the No. 81 player in the nation by Extra Inning Softball. In addition to her back-to-back all-ACC academic team honors in 2021 and 2022, the biology major was one of 13 finalists for the 2023 Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, which honors student-athletes for academic prowess and service to their school and community.

Leonard, who arrived at Georgia Tech as a walk-on in 2019, earned a scholarship following his first season with the Yellow Jackets and is a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter at tight end. The Milton, Ga. native has made 20 starts in 38 games as a Yellow Jacket and hauled in 27 receptions for 231 yards. Academically, he was named to the all-ACC football academic team in 2022, is a three-time member of the conference’s academic honor roll and was a semifinalist for the 2022 Campbell Trophy, which recognizes college football’s top scholar-athlete. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration (marketing) from Georgia Tech in December 2022 and is now pursuing a master’s degree in analytics from Tech while also preparing for his final football season with the Yellow Jackets this fall.

“Congratulations to McKenzie, Connor, Emma and Dylan for earning this incredible honor,” Georgia Tech director of athletics J Batt said. “Their athletic and academic achievements make them the models of what Georgia Tech and ACC student-athletes represent. We are very proud of each of them and excited to see what their futures hold.”

The ACC has selected postgraduate scholarship recipients annually since 1971. Over that time, the conference has provided nearly $4.7 million in postgraduate scholarship support to more than 1,000 ACC student-athletes.

This year’s class will be highlighted in a one-hour show on the ACC Network that will air in May.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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