Fuehrmeyer Named Virgil Cheek Award Recipient; 35 Earn Degrees
SPRINGFIELD -- Graduating men's basketball performer Justin Fuehrmeyer (St. Charles, Mo.) has been voted the winner of the 56th Annual Virgil Cheek Athletic Achievement Award and headlines a group of 35 Missouri State University student-athletes who are scheduled to receive their degrees at spring commencement ceremonies at JQH Arena on Friday, May 14.
The Virgil Cheek Award has been given annually since 1955 at Missouri State to the graduating senior male student-athlete best demonstrating high qualities in scholarship, character, attendance, leadership and athletic performance. The award is named in honor of the long-time Missouri State faculty athletics representative and business faculty member and selected by the six men's intercollegiate athletics head coaches.
Fuehrmeyer was also the recipient of the 2010 Guy Thompson Award, presented annually to the men's basketball senior who best represents the program with character and integrity. Fuehrmeyer was team co-captain for the Bears this season and led the squad in assists for the third straight season. He was second in the Missouri Valley Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.28), while ranking 41st nationally in that category. He finished his Missouri State career with 507 points, 329 assists, 220 rebounds and 106 steals in 121 games. He ranks 8th all-time at MSU in games played and was the 2007-08 MVC leader in assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Francis Howell Central High School product is graduating with a double-major in Marketing Advertising/Promotion and Marketing Sales. He was active in the Just READ program, presented the senior speech at the Bears All-Sports Showcase and was involved in other Bears service initiatives such as The Kitchen, Boys and Girls Club and others.
He is the first men's basketball player to earn the Virgil Cheek Award since Chris Stange in 1990.
The Virgil Cheek Award is voted on by the six head coaches of Missouri State men's athletic programs. Other finalists for the award were soccer sensation Johannes Demarzi, football receiver Jared Emery, golfer Jay McBride and swimmer Victor Serra.
For the second year in a row, women's soccer leads all programs graduating the most undergraduate students with seven, while football is second with six. Other programs with graduating student-athletes include: women's swimming and diving (4), men's basketball (3), men's swimming and diving (3), women's track and field (3), baseball (2), men's golf (2), field hockey (1), women's golf (1), men's soccer (1), softball (1), volleyball (1).
The 2010 spring graduation list includes eight student-athletes graduating with academic honors. Women's track distance specialist Staci Nelson and women's diver Chelsea Ray tops the list of scholastic honor winners with summa cum laude distinction, while women's soccer player Cara Williams and swimmer Hilary Morrow earned magna cum laude honors. Cum laude honorees include golfer Scott Glenn, track standout Yaneika Malcolm, and soccer players Jessica Smits and Caroline Sweeney.
A year ago, 61 student-athletes earned undergraduate or graduate degrees in the May 2009 ceremonies, matching the second-biggest class on record. The top graduating classes on record for Missouri State student-athletes are: May 2006 (64), May 2004 (61), May 2009 (61), May 2005 (59), May 2007 (57), May 2008 (57).
The winners of the Andrew J. McDonald Achievement Award also were selected in advance of Friday's commencement activities. The health and physical education department faculty annually recognizes the top graduating senior athletics participants majoring in healthy and physical education, and the 2010 recipients of the award are Carrie Semar of Fenton, Mo., and Stephen Brabo of Springfield. Both seniors are involved in campus programs.
The two remaining awards to be selected for the 2009-10 academic year will be named at the conclusion of all Missouri State athletics competition for the year when the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Senior Female Scholar Athlete Award and the Missouri State Outstanding Female Athlete Award will be presented.
A total of 2,539 degrees were conferred by Missouri State during spring commencement ceremonies on Friday.
Undergraduate Degrees (35)