By Staff Report.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today a list of 36 student-athletes who have been selected for the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, including three student-athletes who will receive the Thacker Award. Additionally, six 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 to contribute to their graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and his/her respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, six student-athletes will receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award. Two men’s basketball players – Clemson’s Tanner Smith and North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller – along with Duke football player Matt Daniels, Georgia Tech golfer James White, NC State baseball player Phillip Williams, and Virginia women’s tennis player Lindsey Hardenbergh will be recognized for their outstanding academic and athletic performance and intend to compete at the professional level.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, all of whom are former 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 of 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 awarded 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 42 student-athletes will be honored at the annual ACC Postgraduate Luncheon presented by ESPN on April 11, 2012, in the Guilford Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at the Four Seasons.