GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman graduate Lee Gilmer has been awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, as announced today by the NCAA scholarship committee. He is the first Paladin in the history of the men's track and field/cross country program, and only the 15th Furman athlete overall, to earn this award.
The scholarships, valued at $7,500 apiece, are given annually to 87 male and 87 female NCAA athletes nationwide and are divided evenly among the fall, winter, and spring sports. To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Student-athletes must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution's faculty athletics representative.
"As grateful as I am to the NCAA for offering me such a generous award, I am more grateful still for the coaches and professors who worked so hard to ensure that I had a competitive application," said Gilmer. "Their recommendations and support were indispensable. Ultimately, this scholarship symbolizes the two greatest opportunities that this university has afforded me -- an excellent education and a chance to run fast. What more could a student-athlete ask?"
Gilmer will spend the next year training with a group of post-collegiate runners at Furman, where he will also serve as a volunteer assistant coach with the Paladin track and field/cross country program, then intends to enter law school.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Gilmer was named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-American Division I Men's Track/Cross Country Team last month. He graduated in May with a 3.94 G.P.A. and was a double major in history and philosophy with an emphasis in poverty studies. As a senior, Gilmer was honored with Furman's Gilpatrick History Prize, the Philosophy Medal, and an Award for Excellence in Poverty Studies.
Gilmer was the recipient of Furman's 2012 Student-Athlete Achievement Award, the athletic department's highest honor, which is presented annually to the senior athlete who exemplifies the most outstanding qualities of participation, leadership, and service to the community and the University.
During the 2011 indoor season, he set a new Paladin record with a time of 1:53.00 in the 800m then broke his own record in the outdoor mile this past spring, posting a time of 4:04.36 in the Blue Shoes Elite Mile race. He anchored the Furman 4x800m and 4x1500m relay teams that also established new school records.
Throughout his career, Gilmer was an All-Southern Conference selection several times in both indoor and outdoor track. He was named to the Division I All-Academic Track and Field Team his sophomore year and was a member of the SoCon Academic Honor Roll.