Rebecca Marie/ Lantern photographer
Five hundred and eleven Buckeyes were honored as Ohio State Scholar-Athletes Monday at the 46th Annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner at Archie Griffin Ballroom in the Ohio Union.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor, given annually to the graduating male and female athletes who have shown the most proficiency in both academics and athletics, was given to senior fencer Max Stearns and senior softball player Alicia Herron.
There were 10 finalists: senior women’s soccer star Tiffany Cameron, senior Katarzyna Dabrowa of the fencing team, senior volleyball player Mari Hole, senior synchronized swimmer Caitlin Stewart, Herron, senior football player Ben Buchanan, senior wrestler C.J. Magrum, redshirt senior tennis player Devin McCarthy, senior volleyball player John Tholen and Stearns.
Fourteen student-athletes received honors at the dinner for having 4.0 cumulative GPAs, including Stearns.
“This is my fourth (time receiving the 4.0 GPA honor) and it’s honestly a huge honor … some of the people here are just the best in their field both athletically and … academically,” Stearns said. “I’m just excited to be recognized for all of these awards.”
Senior swimmer Kelsey Moran received the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award, which is given to a female reflecting the level of athletic performance, scholarship, leadership and character as Grimes-Davidge, a four-time state and Big Ten title winning women’s tennis player who graduated from OSU summa cum laude.
Senior swimmer Lauren Massey received the M/I Homes Foundation Award, one of the first awards to specifically recognize and promote women’s achievements in intercollegiate athletics at OSU.
The Woody and Anne Hayes Award went to graduated gymnast Nicole Krauter, McCarthy and senior soccer player Aly Walker. The award provides athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA and leadership qualities with financial assistance for postgraduate studies.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to celebrate the greatness that we have across all the sports and in the classroom,” Walker said before the ceremony started. “We all get recognition for what we do on the field or on the court and I think this is great to see how smart we are at Ohio State.”
Senior rower Julie Dick was presented with the Pierce Phoenix Award, for excellence in academics, athletics and personal growth through perseverance and hard work and is to be used for postgraduate studies at OSU.
“This is great to be recognized for these awards and being appreciated is a good feeling,” Dabrowa said. “I want to succeed at everything I do and I have all these great people around me, like my teammates, family and coaches, who support me and motivate me every day.”
The John Dana Cole Award was presented to Dabrowa. The award provides a one-time stipend for postgraduate studies at OSU and has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0.
The Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award, given to student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, received at least a 3.0 GPA, demonstrated positive qualities of character and citizenship and shown potential for success in postgraduate studies, was awarded to four athletes: baseball’s redshirt senior David Fathalikhani, women’s track and field’s graduated Kelcey McKinney, Dick and Stearns. The award is given in the memory of Fergus, a former OSU football player, graduate of the OSU School of Law and a successful businessman. Each scholarship is worth $5,000 to be applied for postgraduate studies at OSU.
Women’s gymnastics was recognized for having the highest GPA among the women’s teams, and women’s track and field was recognized with the most improved GPA, presented by Men’s Varsity O. For men’s sports, men’s golf took home recognition for having the highest GPA, and men’s rifle had the most improved GPA. The Varsity O graduate scholarship award was given to senior swimmer Andrew Spurling.
The ceremony opened with remarks from OSU President E. Gordon Gee, athletic director Gene Smith, associate professor of law and chair for the OSU Athletic Council Charlie Wilson and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board Billy Gehring, a redshirt senior on the men’s track and field team and five-time scholar-athlete. The MC for the evening was Columbus Blue Jackets announcer Bill Davidge.
Men’s basketball junior guard Aaron Craft, who was attending his third Scholar-Athlete Dinner, said he was honored to be invited again.
“It’s fun to be around all of these people and it means a lot,” Craft said. “I came here to play basketball and everything, but to get an education that’s above a lot of other places and be successful, and be recognized for it means a lot.”