Rowing’s Aliute Udoka and Women’s Golf’s Ana Paula Valdes have been recognized as 2020 Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipients, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Friday. Udoka, a 2019 All-ACC Second-Team selection, is an animal and veterinary sciences major. Valdes is a communication major from Morelia, Mexico and a three-time Academic All-ACC selection. Valdes is an honorary nominee for the award, as she intends to pursue a professional career in golf after graduation.
Udoka is the only rower on the 50-person list, while Valdes is one of just two women’s golfers. The Women’s Golf program has had an honoree in each of the past three years, joining Alice Hewson in 2019 and Marisa Messana in 2018. Udoka is the first Clemson rower to earn the award since Anna Skochdopole in 2016.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan postgraduate scholarship 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.
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.
About the Weaver-James-Corrigan AwardThe 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.