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11/13/2023 - Jackson, Miss.

Annual awards honor student athletes at Mississippi public and private colleges and universities

Student athletes from Mississippi's public, private, two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions were honored for their achievements in the classroom with the annual Halbrook Awards, presented at the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities (MAC) virtual business meeting on November 9, 2023. 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 were announced during the annual MAC Business Meeting, which brings together the presidents and chancellor of postsecondary institutions in Mississippi to discuss common goals and challenges.

Itawamba Community College President Dr. Jay Allen, who served as the 2021-2022 president of the MAC Board of Directors, announced the awards.

"It is an honor for the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities to present the annual Halbrook Awards," said Dr. Allen. "These student athletes represent the best of our state as they excel in athletics and in the classroom."

The David M. Halbrook Trophy is awarded to the colleges and universities with the highest percentage of graduating student athletes. This year's recipients include:
  • Community and Junior College Division:
    • East Mississippi Community College
  • Independent College and University Division:
    • William Carey University
  • Public University Women's Division:
    • University of Mississippi
  • Public University Men's Division:
    • Mississippi State University

The John C. and Ernestine McCall Halbrook Improvement Award is a $3,000 cash award presented to the single college or university that has shown the greatest percentage increase over the previous year in athletes graduating. This year's recipient is Belhaven University.

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 was invited to select a male and female student athlete to receive this recognition. Certificates were awarded to the following student athletes.

David M. Halbrook Certificate for Academic Achievement Recipients:
Public University Division
Institution Male Recipient Female Recipient
Alcorn State University Isiah C. Thomas Angelica Jacobs
Jackson State University Richy Gamo Alexes Sanchez
Mississippi State University Austin Williams Emmanouela Antonaki
Mississippi University for Women Charles Wise Elizabeth Truelock
Mississippi Valley State University Orlando Fernandez Toni Carter
University of Mississippi Jayda Eckford Kenney Broadnax
University of Southern Mississippi Dylan Evans Katelyn Cartwright
Independent College and University Division
Institution Male Recipient Female Recipient
Blue Mountain Christian University Rick Bevan Sakamoto Andrea James Huguenin
Rust College Jalin L. Thomas Amelya M. Hatch
William Carey University RJ Stinson Abigail Wickham
Community and Junior College Division
Institution Male Recipient Female Recipient
Holmes Community College Gregory Davis Lanie Potter

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The Halbrook Award for Academic Achievement Among Athletes was established by the Mississippi Legislature in 1984 through 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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