Lois Alexis/Courtesy: Wil Norwood

Lois Alexis/Courtesy: Wil Norwood

Courtesy Southern U. Athletic Media Relations

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, July 23, 2013 – Former women’s tennis athlete Lois Alexis has been awarded the Southwestern Athletic Conference Frank-Norrell Scholarship for 2013, the conference office announced Monday.

Alexis, who received her bachelor’s degree this spring, joins Alabama State’s Lexis Pierre IV (men’s tennis), Mississippi Valley State’s Alexandria Robertson (softball) and Alabama A&M’s Rolandrea Russell (soccer) as recipients of the scholarship named after former SWAC Commissioner Dr James Frank and former Michigan State professor Dr Gwen Norrell.

“Lois was the epitome of a relentless student-athlete,” said women’s tennis head coach Jeff Conyers. “She arrived at Southern four years ago having to do a year of residency due to NCAA requirements but pressed forward to become an honour student and SWAC champion.

“I’m very proud of her achievements.”

Prospective SWAC student-athletes must be accepted in a graduate programme in Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sports Administration and Management or a related field in order to qualify for the scholarship. Students must possess an overall cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better are also eligible and must be committed to working toward a post baccalaureate professional degree.

“I am very honoured and proud to be the recipient of the Frank-Norrell scholarship,” said Lois Alexis, who earned first team All-SWAC honours in 2013.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the scholarship founders for giving me a chance to further my education and pursue my career. It is also a privilege to be chosen as the lone Jaguar amongst all the other nominees in the SWAC conference.

“I am always proud to represent Southern University and the defenders of the gold and blue all the way.”

The purpose of the scholarship fund is to encourage excellence in academic performance by student-athletes who currently attend a SWAC member institution and also desire to attend graduate school.

Under this programme, one student-athlete annually who has demonstrated athletic ability, high academic achievement, and leadership commitment through participation in community service, and extra-curricular activities or other activities that reflect leadership abilities is awarded a $3,000 scholarship in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and potential for success in postgraduate study.

“Lois is a model student-athlete who is fiercely competitive on the court and in the classroom, said Southern athletics director Dr William Broussard. “We’re proud of her achievement, prouder that she’ll be pursuing an MBA at Southern and excited about her future.”

When Dr James Frank retired as Commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 1998, Dr Frank, his wife, Dr Zelma Frank, and Dr Gwen Norrell, a former professor at Michigan State University, established a scholarship for student-athletes in attendance at SWAC member institutions.

Dr Gwen Norrell, also the former Faculty Athletics Representative at Michigan State University sent the SWAC a contribution of $1,000 to be used for the scholarship in Dr Frank’s name, and promised to send the same amount each year until her death. Dr Norrell worked closely with Dr Frank during their many committee assignments and long tenure with the NCAA.

Unfortunately, Dr Norrell passed away in June 2004, but the scholarship program remains in effect. Dr Frank and his wife Zelma, decided to add $2,000 annually to Dr Norrell’s original pledge to establish the Frank-Norrell Scholarship Fund.

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