Quartet of Hurricanes Receive ACC Postgraduate Scholarships
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A quartet of University of Miami student-athletes are among the 50 recipients of the ACC’s 2020 Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship Award, as announced by the conference office Friday morning.
Men’s Tennis’ Dane Dunlap, women’s swimming and diving’s Claire McGinnis, women’s tennis’ Estela Perez-Somarriba and men’s basketball’s Dejan Vasiljevic have each been selected.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan is awarded to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $6,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
A native of Washago, Ont., Canada, Dunlap ranks among the top-10 in program history with 58 doubles victories, while also tallying 51 career singles victories. President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the redshirt senior captain earned his bachelor degree in finance last spring. Over the course of his nine completed semesters, he has made the Athletic Director Honor Roll (minimum 3.2 GPA) every time, as well as earned Dean’s list (minimum 3.5 GPA) accolades seven times. Currently pursuing a master of science in finance, Dunlap is maintaining a 4.0 GPA and received a Graduate School Award of Academic Merit for the fall 2019 semester. He was honored as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete in July of 2018, is a member of the elite Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Leadership Society, has earned a spot on the ACC Honor Roll in each of his four seasons of competition and most recently secured a position with Citibank as part of the Citi Canes program.
Inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Student Honor Society in 2018, McGinnis has a 3.945 GPA and has garnered President Honor Roll accolades four times out of seven completed semesters. A three-time ACC Honor Roll recipient, the senior is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In the pool, the Oakland Township, Mich., native has been Miami’s top point getter in distance events over the course of her career and is a co-captain for the Hurricanes. She also holds a pair of top-10 times in program history, ranking eighth on the all-time performers list in the 100-yard freestyle (10:11.74) and ninth in the 1,650-yard freestyle (16:52.35).
The reigning NCAA singles national champion and current Oracle/ITA top-ranked singles player, Perez-Somarriba is a three-time All-American and two-time ACC Player of the Year. The senior from Madrid is Miami’s all-time singles wins leader and one of four players in ACC history to reach the NCAA Singles Championship multiple times. A three-time All-ACC Academic Team honoree and the 2019 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Perez-Somarriba won the prestigious Honda Sport Award after a junior campaign in which she went 43-5. Perez-Somarriba also claimed the ITA Southeast Region Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship & Leadership Award in her remarkable 2019 season. Off the court, Perez-Somarriba has an outstanding 3.928 GPA as an economics major and has earned dean’s list recognition in all seven of her collegiate semesters. In addition, the 2018-19 student-athlete advisory committee member has worked multiple tennis clinics for local youth, as well as volunteered at the Miami Rescue Mission.
Vasiljevic is one of eight student-athletes who plan to pursue professional careers in their chosen sports and were named honorary recipients. A co-captain for the men’s basketball team, the Melbourne, Australia, native is a 2020 Senior CLASS Award candidate and earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami in just three years after majoring in management and minoring in economics. Vasiljevic, who sports a GPA over 3.0, has picked up a number of academic honors during his college tenure. The senior guard was named to the 2017-18 All-ACC Academic Team and to the 2018-19 ACC Academic Honor Roll. He garnered Book Buster Club (3.0+ GPA) in half his undergraduate semesters and once received Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (3.2+ GPA) status. On the hardwood, the senior is one of four Hurricanes with at least 250 made 3-pointers and one of four with at least 100 makes in ACC play, joining Jack McClinton as the lone players in both groups. With 260 made 3-pointers throughout his career, Vasiljevic ranks 23rd on the ACC’s all-time leaderboard.
The student-athletes will be honored at the annual Cone Health ACC Postgraduate Scholarship Luncheon presented by ESPN on Wednesday, April 8. The luncheon will be hosted by the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club at the Sheraton Four Seasons Guilford Ballroom in Greensboro, N.C.
Boston College alumnus Luke Kuechly, who recently retired from the NFL following an All-Pro career with the Carolina Panthers, will serve as the keynote speaker.
A seven-time Pro Bowler, Kuechly finished with 1,092 tackles which led the NFL from 2012-19. His 18 interceptions were the most by any linebacker over that stretch and rank third in franchise history. He owns three of the top five single-season tackle totals in team history and is the only player in franchise history to make more than 100 tackles in each of his first eight seasons as a Panther.
A native of Cincinnati, Kuechly earned both ACC Rookie of the Year (2009) and Defensive Player of the Year (2011) honors at Boston College. As a junior in 2011, he earned the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player, the Butkus Award as the nation’s most outstanding linebacker and the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation’s best lineman or linebacker. He is the only player to lead the nation in tackles more than once and first player to lead the ACC in tackles three times.
The April 8 luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Luncheon proceeds will go to the Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro Children’s Museum and Cone Health Center for Children. For information on sponsorships and tables, contact Tyler Key, TylerMKey@yahoo.com or 904-377-4357.
About the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver, Bob James, and 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.
Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served in that capacity for 16 years. During his tenure, the league continued to grow in stature and became recognized as a national leader in athletics and academics, winning 23 national championships and maintaining standards of excellence in the classroom.
Eugene F. Corrigan assumed his role as the third full-time commissioner on September 1, 1987 and served until August of 1997. During Corrigan’s tenure, ACC schools captured 30 NCAA championships and two national football titles.
Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were awarded as separate honors, including the Jim Weaver Award, the Marie James Award and the Bob James Award.