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Thirteen students at Urbana campus win Avery Brundage Scholarships

Mare Payne, News Bureau


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Twenty-two University of Illinois students from the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses have won Avery Brundage Scholarships for excellence in academics and athletics. Each student will receive $2,000 for the 2006-2007 academic year.

The 13 recipients from the Urbana-Champaign campus, with their fields of study and sports, are (EDITORS: See list.).

The Avery Brundage Scholarship Fund Committee consists of eight representatives from the faculties and student bodies of the three U. of I. campuses. The committee selects students who engage in athletics for personal development rather than as preparation for professional sports.
The students must be working toward bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees, and they must be in the upper 25 percent of their undergraduate class or in good academic standing in their graduate program.

The scholarship program was established in 1974 by an endowment from the late Avery Brundage, a 1909 U. of I. graduate and president of the International Olympic Committee from 1952 to 1972. Brundage participated in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm as a pentathlete and decathlete. He died May 8, 1975.


CARLYLE – Jessa Becker, liberal arts and sciences, cheerleading

CHAMPAIGN – Amy Ruggiero, veterinary medicine, soccer, softball, flag football

EDELSTEIN – Benjamin Cantrell, engineering, powerlifting

HARWOOD HEIGHTS – Joanne Rinaldi, agriculture, consumer and environmental sciences, rugby

HIGHLAND PARK – Cary Bolnick, applied life studies, baseball

MAHOMET – Chelsea Wood, agriculture, consumer and environmental sciences, tae kwon do

MOLINE – Michelle Bollaert, applied health sciences, tennis, track and field

RIVERTON – Allen Barton, engineering, soccer

URBANA – Stacey Contakos, veterinary medicine, gymnastics; Mina Mojtahedi, agriculture, consumer and environmental sciences, wheelchair basketball

WORTH – Kerra DiVencenzo, liberal arts and sciences, rugby, tae kwon do


FLORIDA, Cypress – Jamie Alvis, liberal arts and sciences, soccer

SWEDEN, Stockholm – Lars Spenger, liberal arts and sciences, wheelchair basketball