Feb. 25, 2014
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced on Tuesday that three Pitt student-athletes are recipients of prestigious ACC postgraduate scholarship awards.
“It is so gratifying in our first year in the ACC to have three outstanding student-athletes selected to win the postgraduate scholarships,” said athletic director Steve Pederson. “These young people are shining examples of excellence at Pitt. We congratulate them on an honor well earned.”
Women’s track and field student-athlete Ashley Corum (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle) was honored with the Thacker Award, which originated in 2005, and 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.
Tennis senior Jocelyn Lu (Mission Viejo, Calif./Laguna Hills) and senior gymnast Katie O'Rourke (Springfield, Va./J.E.B. Stuart) are both recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan postgraduate scholarships, including $5,000 towards their graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
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.
Corum has been recognized for academic excellence throughout her time at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been named to the University's Dean's List in three of her semesters at Pitt, and has been named to Pitt's Athletic Director's Honor Roll five times. In 2012-2013, Corum achieved the title of Conference Academic Honoree. Most recently this past fall, Corum earned a 4.0 GPA for the semester.
Her achievements carry over to the track where she has placed in the top-five over the past four years at the Big East Championships. In her freshman debut, she impressed with a winning performance in the triple jump (41-0.51) at the Big East Outdoor Championships. She then took home 14th that same season at the ECAC Championships. As a sophomore, she claimed fifth in the triple jump at the indoor and outdoor Big East Championships. In her junior campaign, Corum placed fourth in the triple jump event at the Big East Championships (indoor). In her last Big East performance, she was awarded fourth overall for her performance in the triple jump, qualifying her for the first round of Regionals.
Lu played 22 singles matches at No. 2 and 20 doubles matches at No. 1 as a junior. She led the team with a 4.0 GPA, helping tennis earn Pitt’s Academic Team Award. As a sophomore, she played at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and registered 11 wins when paired with Taylor Washington at No. 1 doubles. The doubles team never lost more than two consecutive matches. Lu was named team MVP following a stellar freshman campaign, leading the team with 20 victories in singles action and posting a 20-8 singles record that tied for ninth overall in single-season wins. She compiled a .714 season win percentage that ranked 14th in the record books.
O’Rourke has won five event titles to date as a senior on beam and floor. As a junior, O’Rourke helped Pitt to the NCAA Regional meet and competed on the beam and floor. O’Rourke earned All-EAGL First Team for floor and second team for balance beam. She was also named to the EAGL All-Tournament First Team on beam and was named to the EAGL All-Academic Team for the second consecutive year. As a sophomore, she competed at NCAA Regional Championship where she scored a 9.700 on the floor for the ninth-best score. She was named to the All-EAGL Second Team on both floor and beam, EAGL All-Academic team and All-Tournament First Team on floor at the 2011 EAGL Championships. O’Rourke finished 5th as a freshman and was named to the All-Tournament Second Team on vault at the 2011 EAGL Championships. She earned Pitt’s 2011 Most Valuable Freshman Award.
"What a welcome to the ACC, as well as a great honor, to have an athlete among Pitt’s first chosen group of awardees," said head gymnastics coach Debbie Yohman. "I’m so proud of Katie and happy for the program to be part of that inaugural group from our University.”
The 50 student-athletes across the conference will be honored at the annual ACC Postgraduate Luncheon presented by ESPN on April 16, in the Guilford Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro at the Four Seasons.