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12/1/2020 - Jackson, Miss.

Student athletes from Mississippi’s public, private, two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions were honored recently for their achievements in the classroom with the annual Halbrook Awards, presented at the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities (MAC) business meeting, held recently using an online meeting platform. The program recognizes colleges and universities that achieve and maintain high academic standards for student athletes, thus encouraging high graduation rates. The award was endowed by former Mississippi Representative David Halbrook Sr. and his brothers in honor of their parents.

The awards are usually presented during the annual MAC Conference, which brings together attendees from across the state serving in postsecondary institutions in roles including presidents and chancellors, chief academic officers, chief student affairs officers, chief financial officers, admissions officers, institutional effectiveness officers, faculty and administrators. Due to COVID-19, the MAC Conference was not held this year.

University of Mississippi Chancellor Dr. Glenn Boyce, who served as the 2019-2020 president of the MAC Board of Directors, presented the awards.

The David M. Halbrook (traveling) Trophy awards are presented to the colleges and universities with the highest percentage of graduating student athletes. This year's recipients include:

  • Community and Junior College Division:
    • (Tie) Itawamba Community College and
    • Northwest Mississippi Community College
  • Independent College and University Division:
    • Millsaps College
  • Public University Women's Division:
    • (Tie) Mississippi State University
    • The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Public University Men's Division:
    • Alcorn State University

Student Athlete Certificate Recipients:

David M. Halbrook Certificate Award for Academic Achievement Among Athletes
Public Division
Institution Male Recipient Female Recipient
Alcorn State University Troymain Crosby Joda Hargrove
Delta State University Zach Zediker Olivia Dick
Mississippi State University Curtis Thompson Makayla Waldner
Mississippi University for Women Jacob Thomas Haley McMurphey
Mississippi Valley State University Brandon Hawkins Derica Pitters
University of Mississippi Andrew Raspo Emily Stroup
University of Southern Mississippi Alex Nelms Ashley C. Favors
Independent Division
Institution Male Recipient Female Recipient
Belhaven University Mayowa "Mario" Asaggunla Marie Blackwell
Blue Mountain College James Shea Aubrey Leah Johnson
Millsaps College Brandon Beck Payton Passantino
Mississippi College Jonathan J. Jones Emily S. McNair
Rust College Saul Gonzale-Nucete Miriah Medina
Tougaloo College Ledarius Woods Kayelyn Salley
William Carey University Jacob Plocher Mallory Thompson
Community and Junior College Division
Institution Male Recipient Female Recipient
Coahoma Community College Tyler Berryhill Skyler Sistrunk
Copiah-Lincoln Comm. College Kylar Fielder Katelyn Anne Hayman
East Central Community College Dylan Barnett Kailee Swindle
East Mississippi Comm. College Josh Smith Lillian Burton
Hinds Community College David Millard Rimer Johannah Grace Ballenger
Holmes Community College Caden Pinnix Ja'Laycia Brown
Itawamba Community College Clayton O’Daniel Grace Joyce
Jones College James McWilliams Araceli Figueroa
Meridian Community College Bradley Wright Racheal VanHorn
MS Delta Community College Jackson Vance Tyra Hudson
MS Gulf Coast Comm. College John Hopkins Chloe Fell
Northeast MS Comm. College Carson Banks
Austin Shaw
Katelin Senter
Northwest MS Comm. College Gregory Smith Lindsay Hall
Pearl River Community College Ronald Baker Zigi Ahortor
Southwest MS Comm. College Ryan Black Jade Laham

The John C. and Ernestine McCall Halbrook Improvement Award is a cash award presented to the single college or university that has shown the greatest increase over the previous year in the percentage of athletes graduating. This year's recipient is Tougaloo College.

The David M. Halbrook Certificate for Academic Achievement Among Athletes recognizes the efforts of individual student athletes who excel in academics, leadership and service. Each college or university selected a male and female student athlete to receive this recognition.

The Halbrook Award for Academic Achievement Among Athletes was established in 1984 as a result of the passage of House Concurrent Resolution No. 88. The awards program is made possible through endowments from former Representative David M. Halbrook of Belzoni and his brothers, John C. and James G. Halbrook of Belzoni and J. A. Halbrook of Beaumont, Texas, in honor of their parents, John C. and Ernestine McCall Halbrook.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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