HIGH POINT, N.C. –Megan Nanney of Belmont Abbey College has been recognized as the 2015-2016 recipient of the Murphy Osborne Award, Conference Carolinas announced today. A member of the women’s soccer team at Belmont Abbey, Nanney was selected from a field of elite nominees based on her academic, athletic, and service accomplishments for Conference Carolinas’ outstanding senior award.
Nanney, who is pursuing a degree in Biology, has earned an overall GPA of 3.97, with a 4.0 in her major courses and a 3.96 in Science Minors. Over the last two summers Megan has participated in a pair of highly selective internships: the Carolinas Healthcare System Summer Research Scholar program in 2014 and the Naval Research Enterprise program in 2015. Her numerous academic awards and achievements are highlighted by her five-time BAC President’s List and two-time BAC Dean’s List selections, while also receiving many Conference Carolinas recognitions, which includes the Women’s Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior.
“Megan is more than just an outstanding soccer player, but the true definition of a student-athlete,” said head women’s soccer coach Mike Lynch. “She has these natural talents that she has continued to develop and expand upon over the years. Megan’s work ethic and enthusiasm has earned the utmost respect of the entire Abbey community and we are excited to see her continue in her endeavors.”
A three-year starter and captain, Nanney has been a driving force behind Belmont Abbey’s dominance in women’s soccer. She has been part of teams that have captured Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament. A standout defender, Nanney anchored a defense that allowed only three goals her senior season and she concluded her career with a 34-7-1 record in conference play. Her athletic exploits have earned her first team all-conference as a senior, third team all-conference as a junior and all-tournament as a sophomore.
“We are thrilled that Megan is this year’s recipient of Conference Carolinas’ most distinguished individual award,” said Belmont Abbey athletic director Stephen Miss. “We thank the Faculty Athletics Representatives from our peer institutions for recognizing her many accomplishments. Not only does Megan’s excellence academically, athletically and in service engagements at-large epitomize the student-athlete ideal, but her doing so also illuminates the inherent value of the balanced approach to the education of the whole person.”
Nanney is passionately involved in a multitude of community engagement projects, finding time to participate when she has free time from her academic and athletic obligations. On campus, Nanney is the president of the Belmont Abbey College chapter of the National Biological Honorary Society, and was vice president during the 2014-15 school year. She serves as a laboratory assistant to the biology department, while also being a peer tutor. Off campus, Nanney has served as a volunteer at Holy Angles, a residential care facility in Belmont, N.C; volunteered with Girls on the Run, a mentoring program for young girls; served as a volunteer for Special Olympics; and one of the organizers of the 5K Fundraiser for Camp Safe Haven, a summer camp for children with AIDS.
“Conference Carolinas has so many deserving student-athletes that it is difficult to choose just one,” said Dr. Julia Beeman, faculty athletics representative at Belmont Abbey. “However, in my ten years of reading nominations I have never encountered a more well-rounded and joyful person as Megan. Her enthusiasm for life is infectious, and I am so excited she was bestowed with such a high honor in a very competitive conference.”
Conference Carolinas institutions are able to nominate one student athlete, that qualifies and best represents their school and the Conference. The finalists for the highest academic award presented by the Conference are as follows: Ricky Jernigan of Barton College, Megan Nanney of Belmont Abbey College, Sarah McDonald of Erskine College, Elizabeth Swallow of King University, Dillon Quinn of Lees-McRae College, Maurissa Lester of Limestone College, Michael Munoz of the University of Mount Olive, Foley George of North Greenville University and Fabio Diniz of Pfeiffer University.
To be eligible for the Murphy Osborne Award, a student must be a senior student-athlete with a minimum grade point average of 3.25. The student must be a full-time student at the time of nomination, must have been a full-time student for at least two years at the member school, and must be a starter or important substitute in a conference sport. The recipient is selected by the Faculty Athletics Representatives of Conference Carolinas institutions and represents the best of the best for the League.
Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 12 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Converse College, Emmanuel College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, University of Mount Olive, North Greenville University, Pfeiffer University, and Southern Wesleyan University. Emmanuel College and Southern Wesleyan University are currently completing the NCAA Membership Process and will be fully competing in league championships in the near future.