Feb. 21, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today a list of 41 student-athletes who have been selected for the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, including three student-athletes who will receive the Thacker Award. Five student-athletes who plan to enter a professional career in their chosen sport were named honorary recipients.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes – three from each league institution – who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $5,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, five student-athletes will receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award. Two football players – North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper and NC State’s Michael Glennon – along with Duke basketball player Ryan Kelly, Virginia swimmer Lauren Perdue, and Wake Forest golfer Evan Beck will be recognized for their outstanding academic and athletic performances.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, the first three ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954-70 after a stint as the Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University. His early leadership and uncompromising integrity are largely responsible for the excellent reputation enjoyed by the ACC today.
Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served in that capacity for 16 years. During his tenure, the league continued to grow in stature and became recognized as a national leader in athletics and academics, winning 23 national championships and maintaining standards of excellence in the classroom.
Eugene F. Corrigan assumed his role as the third full-time commissioner on September 1, 1987, and served until August of 1997. During Corrigan’s tenure, ACC schools captured 30 NCAA championships and two national football titles.
Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were given as separate honors. The Jim Weaver Award, which originated in 1970, recognized exceptional achievement on the playing field and in the classroom, while the Bob James Award, established in 1987, also honored outstanding student-athletes.
The Thacker Award, which originated in 2005, is given in honor of the late Jim and Pat Thacker of Charlotte, N.C. Jim Thacker was the primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC’s first television network. Recipients of the award must demonstrate outstanding performance both in athletic competition and in the classroom and intend to further their education through postgraduate studies at an ACC institution.
The 41 student-athletes will be honored at the annual ACC Postgraduate Luncheon presented by ESPN on April 17, 2013, in the Guilford Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro at the Four Seasons.
Perron Jones; Georgia Tech; Computer Science; Track & Field; Augusta, Ga. (Thacker Award)
An honoree for the Peach of an Athlete Award in 2013, Perron Jones was named to the 2012 All-ACC Academic Team and is a three-time member of the ACC honor roll. The Augusta, Ga. native, placed second in the 60-meter dash in 2012 with a time of 6.77 – a time that ranks in the top five in Georgia Tech history. For the last four years, Jones assisted with the GTAA Annual Michael Isenhour Toy Drive, and he helped organize and run weekly study session for students in the College of Computing. In addition, Jones helped develop and implement the GTAA Leadership Academy, and has been involved with the academy for three years.
Elizabeth Kilborn; Georgia Tech; Biology; Tennis; Marietta, Ga.
Elizabeth Kilborn, the 2013 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team captain, has helped the Yellow Jackets win an ACC Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 twice during her first three years in the Gold and White. Kilborn enters her final season at Tech just outside the Yellow Jackets’ career top 10 in singles and doubles wins. The Marietta, Ga., native posted a perfect 4-0 singles record at the 2010 ACC Tournament, including the clinching win over No. 8 Clemson in the semifinals, as the Jackets won their fourth ACC Tournament title. Kilborn has been equally successful in the classroom as she is a two-time selection to the ACC All-Academic team, has been selected to the Dean’s List five times and earned Faculty Honors for a 4.0 GPA twice. She serves on the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board and helped organize the women’s tennis teams trip to City of Refuge to serve dinner to some of Atlanta’s homeless.
Kate Riley; Georgia Tech; International Affairs; Swimming & Diving; Oak Ridge, N.C.
A senior captain, Kate Riley is a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll for the Georgia Tech women’s swimming & diving team. She was part of the Yellow Jackets’ 200 free relay that broke the school record last season, and also swam on the 200 medley relay that ranks second in Tech history and the 400 free relay that ranks third. On individual lists, the sprinter ranks fourth in the 100 free, fifth in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 back. She is a member of the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board, and has participated in a number of community service activities including the Michael Isenhour Toy Drive and the Georgia Special Olympics.