INDIANAPOLIS. – Anthony (Anton) Stephenson of the University of Nebraska and Olivia Rosendahl of Northwestern University have been chosen as this year’s Wayne Duke Award recipients. The award is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership.
“As we recognize these two student-athletes chosen for this scholarship, we also celebrate Wayne Duke’s contribution to the conference. We acknowledge not only these student’s ability to perform on their perspective field of play, but also their commitment in the classrooms and extracurriculars,” said Jerry Semler, Chair of Wayne Duke Award Selection Committee.
Stephenson, who was voted this year’s team captain of the men’s gymnastics team, has helped lead the team to back-to-back NCAA final six appearances. He has won three Big Ten titles, been named a two-time NCAA individual event All-American and is the U.S. reigning Vaulting Champion. Out of the gym, Stephenson majors in nutrition science with a minor in biochemistry. Currently, he holds a 3.97 grade point average and has plans to continue his education at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine where he will specialize in ophthalmology.
In addition to his achievements in the classroom and gym, Stephenson has spent time with numerous doctors over the last four years gaining skills that will be applicable as he continues his education. He currently is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and continues to volunteer with many community service organizations.
Rosendahl, a member of the Northwestern women’s swimming and diving team, currently holds a 3.87 grade point average while double-majoring in international studies and French with a minor in political science. In the pool, she is a two-time NCAA Champion, a six-time United States National Campion, a two-time bronze medalist in the World University Games and a member of the United States Diving National Team.
Currently, Rosendahl plans on using the next year to train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While she is training, she plans to apply to programs that would further her interest in international affairs. When she is not diving or studying she spends her time as her team’s captain, a member of the Alpha Phi Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha and as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Rosendahl and Stephenson will be recognized in Indianapolis during the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 9.
In recognition of the Big Ten’s leadership in fully integrating athletics into the academic mission of its member institutions, the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership initiated the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award in 2008. Each Big Ten institution was asked to nominate one male and one female student for 2019, with a $10,000 scholarship awarded to each winner. Over the past 12 years the award has contributed nearly $170,000 in scholarships.
Of the 27 student-athletes nominated, 16 were Big Ten Distinguished Scholars having a grade point average of 3.5 or greater. The average grade point for all nominees was a 3.74, and 18 were recognized on their institutions’ Dean List. Out of the classroom, a total of 157 different volunteer activities were completed.
“Indiana Sports Corp is honored to play a role in awarding the Wayne Duke Scholarship,” said Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn. “The honorees are a shining example of the importance of sports and academics and serve as a great example to the youth in our community.”
The Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award is named for the late Big Ten Conference commissioner who served from 1971 to 1989. While leading the Big Ten, Duke spent much of his time working to improve academic standards and graduation rates for students competing in conference athletics.
The award is made possible by donations from local corporations and individuals supporting intercollegiate athletics. The Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership is comprised of the State of Indiana, City of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corp, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Visit Indy.
2019 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award Nominees:
University of Illinois: Daniela Pedraza Novak, Women’s Tennis; Joseph Height, Men’s Track and Field
Indiana University: Madeleine Pierce, Women’s Rowing; James Connor, Men’s Swimming and Diving
University of Iowa: Molly Kelly, Women’s Volleyball; Luke Farley, Baseball
University of Maryland: Samantha Main, Softball; Jahi Jones, Wrestling
University of Michigan: Noah Kleedtke, Men’s Soccer
Michigan State University: Courtney Aycock, Women’s Swimming and Diving; Daniel Chmielewski, Baseball
University of Minnesota: April Bockin, Women’s Soccer; Josip Krstanovic, Men’s Tennis
University of Nebraska: Mikaela Foecke, Women’s Volleyball; Anton Stephenson, Men’s Gymnastics
Northwestern University: Olivia Rosendahl, Women’s Swimming and Diving; Chad Masaji Hanaoka, Football
Ohio State University: Karrington Pettiford-Winters, Women’s Track and Field; Joey Bonanno, Men’s Gymnastics
Penn State University: Anastasia Kalonji, Women’s Fencing; Gavin Turner, Men’s Fencing
Purdue University: Danielle Auckley, Women’s Swimming and Diving; Benjamin Thornton, Wrestling
Rutgers University: Sarah Johanek, Women’s Rowing; Brian A Shushkovsky, Men’s Soccer
University of Wisconsin: Natalie Jacobson, Women’s Soccer; Evan Bondoc, Football
Previous Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award Recipients:
2018: Chris Weber, University of Nebraska, Football; Emily Mills, Rutgers University, Women’s Golf
2017: Geno Morelli, Penn State, Wrestling; Lindsay Agnew, Ohio State, Women’s Soccer
2016: Cody Rush, Nebraska, Men’s Track and Field; Lindsay Mable, Minnesota, Women’s Gymnastics
2015: Campbell Sode, Rutgers, Men’s Lacrosse; Jessica Plant, Minnesota, Women’s Swimming
2014: Spencer Long, Nebraska, Football; Emily Wong, Nebraska, Women’s Gymnastics
2013: Sean Fisher, Nebraska, Football; Katelyn White, Nebraska, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field
2012: Miguel Pineda, Penn State, Men’s Gymnastics; Margaux Farrell, Indiana, Women’s Swimming
2011: Mike Torchia, Minnesota, Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field; Allie Smith, Purdue, Women’s Swimming
2010: Mark Ison, Northwestern, Football; Chelsea Davis, Ohio State, Women’s Diving
2009: Drew Ratner, Northwestern, Men’s Soccer; Lauren Mioton, Purdue, Women’s Basketball
2008: Kevin Trulock, Indiana, Football; Molly Crispell, Penn State, Women’s Swimming
About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.
Indiana Sports Corp: Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.