SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., Student-Athlete Scholarship is presented to student-athletes who do not receive a full athletic scholarship, and who have attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 after a year or more of study at Saint Leo. Scholarship candidates must also submit a personal statement describing the ways Saint Leo University’s six core values, combined with their athletic experiences, have influenced their personal development.
The university’s core values, which were articulated shortly after Dr. Kirk assumed the presidency of Saint Leo 14 years ago, are drawn from the Catholic Benedictine tradition of the university’s founders. The core values are: excellence, community, respect, personal development, responsible stewardship, and integrity.
Dr. Kirk was stunned by the creation of the award, which he called “very special.” Young people he had coached some 14 years ago were among the donors who have contributed to the endowed scholarships. That means the donations will be invested to create a recurring stream of earnings that can be used for scholarships year after year.
John Semeraro announced the new scholarship during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony dinner in 2011. Dr. Kirk was welcomed into the hall that same year in honor of his many contributions to athletic life at Saint Leo. He reinstituted the cross country and men’s golf programs, and made possible the addition of men’s and women’s swimming, women’s golf, women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s lacrosse. He is also a lifelong athlete (including during college at Kean University in New Jersey) and avid runner who makes physical fitness a priority.
Still, friends, colleagues, alumni and trustees wanted to take the additional step of creating a named scholarship, Semeraro said, to acknowledge the “special affinity” Dr. Kirk has shown for the circumstances of athletes who strive for a college education. Practice schedules and games typically reduce the amount of time available to work at jobs to earn money for school for these young people, he noted.
Those interested in nominating a deserving Saint Leo student-athlete can visit http://www.saintleo.edu/Financial-Aid/Scholarships for all scholarship criteria and nomination forms. The deadline for the Dr. Kirk Scholarship is February 15, 2012.