PEORIA, Ill. - For the first time since 2007 and just the fourth time in the 62-year history of the award, a soccer player is the winner of Bradley University's most prestigious athletic department award. Bobby Smith (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart-Griffin H.S.) is the recipient of the 2012 Charles Orsborn Award, which is presented annually to the senior Bradley University student-athlete(s) who best combines athletic and academic success with community service.
In other awards presented Monday night at Renaissance Coliseum, softball player Mariah Cole (Springfield, Ill./Chatham Glenwood H.S.) received the Carl Grose Service Award and teammate Heather Terry (Jones, Okla./Jones H.S.) was the female recipient of the Coach Joe Stowell Award. In addition, men's basketball player Charonn Woods (St. Louis, Mo./Metro Academic and Classical H.S.) was the male recipient of the Coach Joe Stowell Award, group sales director Joe Dolan received the Megan C. Fong Inspiration Award and former track and field athlete Jerry Hayden earned the Orville Nothdurft Lifetime Achievement Award.
As has become custom, Monday's awards ceremony included the introduction of the candidates for the Male and Female Most Outstanding Athlete Awards, which will be determined after the conclusion of the 2011-12 athletic year later this spring.
Smith was selected the winner of the 2012Charles Orsborn Award from a trio of finalists that also included volleyball player Rachelle Dejean (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley H.S.) and women's golfer Kelly Amundrud (Calgary, Alberta/Strathcona Tweedsmuir).
Smith was a 4-year starter for the Bradley Soccer team and helped the Braves to the 2010 State Farm MVC Tournament title and consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament (2010, 2011) for the first time in program history. He was a 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award All-American and a first-team 2011 Capital One Academic All-American. Boasting a 3.94 cumulative grade point average in Bradley's 5-year Accounting 3:2 program, which awards both a bachelor's degree and master's degree upon completion, Smith will graduate in just four years next month.
The 2011 fall recipient of the State Farm/MVC Good Neighbor Award, Smith has made multiple visits to local grade schools as part of the State Farm Just Read program and in participation with Bradley's community outreach initiative. He also continues to volunteer in his hometown through the Friend in Deed Christmas program, delivering food and gifts to needy families in the Springfield area, and coaching in multiple youth soccer clinics.
Captain of the 1959 Bradley men's track and field team, Hayden held the school record in the discus throw for 17 years and was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame in 1961. A 1959 Bradley graduate, Hayden earned his MBA from Northwestern in 1970 and now serves as the chairman, CEO and owner of Peacock Engineering Co., a food-packing company with plants in Itasca, Geneva and Carol Stream. Hayden is the founder and past president of Itasca Business Council and is a member of the United Republican Fund of Illinois and the World Presidents' Organization. He also is a former board member of the Illinois Manufacturing Association, Contact Packing Association and Young Presidents' Organization.
For background information and all-time lists of winners for Bradley's annual athletic department awards, visit BradleyBraves.com and click the "Awards" tab under the main banner.