Brown To Serve As Keynote Speaker At ACC Postgraduate Luncheon

2016 Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients Release

52 student-athletes to be honored with Weaver-James-Corrigan scholarships and awards

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Former All-Atlantic Coast Conference and NFL offensive lineman Jason Brown will be the keynote speaker at the annual ACC Postgraduate Luncheon hosted by the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club and presented by ESPN. The luncheon is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13, at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel Imperial Ballroom in Greensboro.

The ACC and Commissioner John Swofford will honor 43 student-athletes selected for the 2016 Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, including three student-athletes who will receive the Thacker Award. An additional nine student-athletes who plan to pursue professional careers in their chosen sports will be recognized as honorary recipients.

A native of Henderson, North Carolina, Brown attended the University of North Carolina on a football scholarship and graduated in 2005 with a degree in interpersonal communications. Twice named to the All-ACC Football Academic Team, Brown was recognized as a 2005 ACC Postgraduate Scholar. A first-team All-ACC center for the Tar Heels on the playing field, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens following his senior season.

Brown played in 96 games – starting 87 – in seven seasons with the Ravens and St. Louis Rams. In March of 2012 – at the age of 29 – Brown chose to walk away from the NFL and purchased a 1,000-acre farm in Louisburg, North Carolina.

Now known as First Fruits Farms, Brown’s land annually yields close to 10,000 pounds of cucumbers and 120,000 pounds of sweet potatoes that are donated to food pantries and churches throughout the Triangle area. More than 600 volunteers assisted last year in gleaning and harvesting efforts. In addition, First Fruit Farms serves as the site of an annual youth fishing derby, has hosted graduated students from North Carolina State University and has collaborated in projects with a number of faith and service organizations.

Brown and his wife – Dr. Tay Brown, whom he met while attending school at North Carolina – also head up Wisdom For Life Ministries, which outlines Bible distribution and Bible literacy as its core mission.

The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker postgraduate scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes 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, nine student-athletes will receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award. They include Duke women’s golfer Celine Boutier, Georgia Tech distance runner Brandon Lasater, Miami football player Paul Vogel, NC State wrestler Nick Gwiazdowski and football player Joe Thuney, Louisville women’s golfer Katie Mitchell, North Carolina basketball player Marcus Paige, Notre Dame men’s lacrosse player Matthew Landis and Virginia women’s soccer player Makenzy Doniak.

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 awarded 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, North Carolina. 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.

Tickets to the 2016 ACC Postgraduate Luncheon may be purchased by contacting the ACC office at (336) 854-8787.

The following student-athletes will be honored as 2016 ACC Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients:
Nicole Boudreau, Boston College, Women’s Basketball (Marketing & Management /Leadership)
Caroline Margolis, Boston College, Women’s Lacrosse (Applied Psychology/Human Development & Economics
Katty Workman, Boston College, Volleyball (Marketing & English)
Tristen Dewar, Clemson, Women’s Tennis (Communication Studies)
Jordan Roper, Clemson, Men’s Basketball (Athletic Leadership)
Anna Skochdopole, Clemson, Rowing (Biological Science)
Lauren Blazing, Duke, Field Hockey (Political Science & Cultural Anthropology)
Kelby Brown, Duke, Football (Evolutionary Anthropology)
Megan Clark, Duke, Women’s Track & Field (Psychology)
Marco Nunez, Florida State, Men’s Tennis (Finance)
Katherine Plessy, Florida State, Beach Volleyball (Psychology)
Michael Rinaldi, Florida State, Men’s Tennis (Political Science)
Andrew Chetcuti, Georgia Tech, Men’s Swimming and Diving (Biology)
Darelle Cowley, Georgia Tech, Women’s Swimming and Diving (Psychology)
Nico van Duijn, Georgia Tech, Men’s Swimming (Electrical Engineering)
Andrea Kneppers, Louisville, Women’s Swimming & Diving (Marketing & Business Economics)
Jerry Ramirez, Louisville, Men’s Soccer (Finance) *
Laura Restrepo, Louisville, Women’s Golf (Finance)
Kara McCormack, Miami, Women’s Diving (Mathematics) *
Stephanie Wagner, Miami, Women’s Tennis (Economics)
Erin McGovern, Miami, Women’s Soccer (Exercise Physiology and Physical Therapy)
Casey Di Nardo, North Carolina, Field Hockey (Media & Journalism/Public Relations)
Emma Nunn, North Carolina, Women’s Swimming (Spanish & Global Studies)
Houston Summers, North Carolina, Men’s Track & Field (Psychology)
Patrick Hodan, Notre Dame, Men’s Soccer (Finance)
Sarah Kappers, Notre Dame, Rowing (Science Pre-professional & Psychology)
Jake Kildoo, Notre Dame, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field (Arabic & Philosophy)
Jonathan Addison, NC State, Men’s Track & Field (Industrial Engineering)
Kaitlyn Kramer, NC State, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field (Chemical Engineering: Textiles)
Lindsay Offutt, Pitt, Gymnastics (Political Science)
Amanda Orchard, Pitt, Volleyball (Anthropology) *
Artie Rowell, Pitt, Football (Business Finance)
Jackie Firenze, Syracuse, Women’s Soccer (Health & Physical Education)
Margo Malone Syracuse, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field (Biology)
Kari Tomeny, Syracuse, Rowing (Economics/Psychology)
Chelsea Adams, Virginia, Rowing (Public Policy and Leadership)
Peyton Chaney, Virginia, Track & Field (Government & Sociology)
Haley Durmer, Virginia, Women’s Swimming (Commerce - Management and Marketing)
Carol Kahoun, Virginia Tech, Women’s Tennis (Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise/Psychology)
Kylie McGoldrick, Virginia Tech, Softball (Marketing Management)
Ashley Meier, Virginia Tech, Women’s Soccer (Human Development)
Valerie Dahmen, Wake Forest, Field Hockey (Politics & International Affairs)
Kent Garrett, Wake Forest, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field (Sociology)

Honorary Postgraduate Scholar Nominees
Celine Boutier, Duke, Women’s Golf (Psychology)
Brandon Lasater, Georgia Tech, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field (Electrical Engineering)
Katie Mitchell, Louisville, Women’s Golf (Communications)
Justin Vogel, Miami, Football (Health Science)
Marcus Paige, North Carolina, Basketball (Media & Journalism/History)
Matt Landis, Notre Dame, Men’s Lacrosse (Finance)
Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State, Wrestling (Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management)
Joe Thuney, NC State, Football (Accounting)
Makenzy Doniak, Virginia, Women’s Soccer (Speech Pathology & Audiology)

* - Thacker Award honoree