Class Acts

Dr. Sarah Hutson-Comeaux (right) of the Psychology department talks about top-50 awardee, Kinsey Bryant-Lees (left).
Dr. Sarah Hutson-Comeaux (right) of the Psychology department talks about top-50 awardee, Kinsey Bryant-Lees (left).

The first-ever James T. Glerum, Jr. Top-50 Banquet took place on Monday (April 9) from Curtis Dining Hall as a kick-off to the NCAA’s Division III Week festivities.

The banquet was named in honor of Glerum, a 1982 Denison graduate and former member of the Big Red men’s basketball team.  The top-50 student-athletes based on grade point average with sophomore, junior or senior class rank were invited to the banquet along with a Denison faculty member of their choosing.

The bulk of the program consisted of short statements by the invited faculty members where they elaborated on their relationships with the student-athletes in attendance.  These statements ran anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes and gave an invaluable context to the impressive balance that these student strike on a daily basis between the classroom and the playing fields.

In addition to the recognition of the top-50 student athletes, a number of special awards were issued by the athletic department.

Denison, along with the other 10 member institutions of the North Coast Athletic Conference, honors one male and one female annually for the NCAC Scholar Athlete Award.  Denison’s 2012 honorees are Emily Schroeder (Women’s Swimming & Diving) and Chris Olson (Men’s Soccer).  Schroeder is a two-time national champion and a 13-time All-American who has also won 12 career conference championships.  Olson is a three-time All-NCAC selection and an All-Great Lakes Region choice in 2011.  He finished second on the team in goals this year.

Two new awards were created in honor of longtime administrators Lynn Schweizer and Larry Scheiderer.  The Lynn Schweizer Award was presented to Brittany Brannon for being the highest ranking senior female student-athlete based upon grade point average.  Brannon was a three-year starter for the Big Red volleyball team and is majoring in English.

The Larry Scheiderer Award was presented to Chris Kozlowski.  A four-year letterwinner and co-captain of the Big Red men’s lacrosse team, Kozlowski is majoring in communication and economics with a minor in theater.  He is also a member of the campus’ male a capella group, the Denison Hilltoppers.

The Ted Barclay Top-5 Award was created to honor Barclay, who spent 35 years as a faculty member, coach, and administrator at Denison.  He served as the Director of Men’s Athletics from 1979 through 1991 and was the head coach of men’s swimming & diving, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and men’s golf at different points in his tenure. This year’s top five student-athletes, based on grade point average, and in no particular order, were Alex Longi (Men’s Basketball), Claire Hamilton (Women’s Soccer), Nat Kell (Football), Grace Summers (Women’s Golf), and Andrea Karl (Women’s Soccer).

The final award of the night, the James T. Glerum Presidential Award , went to senior Kate Westenberger.  The award was created to honor a senior who has demonstrated superior athletic and academic accomplishments, outstanding leadership, and service to the university and community.  A four-year letter winner and member of the women’s tennis team, Westenberger has played on three-straight teams which have reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.  She is a multiple All-North Coast Athletic Conference honoree and is majoring in art history.

2011-12 Top-50 Award Winners

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2012 Denison University Top-50 Student-Athletes