The 1928 West Virginia University football team was a close-knit unit who believed in the value of an education. One of the players, Louis Meisel, was so passionate about academic success that he spearheaded an effort to create an award that recognizes and rewards the graduating football letterman with the highest grade point average. As a result, the 1928 Football Team Award (Louis Meisel Award) was born.
Casey Vance of Seneca Rocks, W.Va., is the recipient of the 2012 award. Growing up in one of West Virginia’s most beautiful spots, he was born a Mountaineer. He came to WVU where he was honored to be a part of the WVU football team, playing linebacker. His passion carried over into the classroom where he majored in history, graduating in 2011. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in education at WVU. His academic honors include the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll, Dean’s List, President’s List and Big East Academic All-Star.
“Being on the football team and being at WVU has been a great experience,” Vance said. “My family and the academic staff in the athletic program played a huge role in helping me succeed. I am truly honored to receive this award.”
Vance received the award from Louise M. Rankin, daughter of the late Louis Meisel, during the Order of Vandalia Luncheon held earlier this month. His parents, Ronnie and Joanne Vance, joined him for the award presentation.
“My father would be so pleased that this award is still being presented with its original intentto recognize and reward academic achievement. Academics were especially important to him because he felt that players must use academic skills to build good teamwork and be successful,” Rankin said. “Casey represents the link from the past to the future of WVU’s football programa talented and dedicated scholar-athlete who is a winner on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.”
Rankin further noted that her father strongly believed that an education completed with a degree is the ultimate goal of a student athlete. He was proud of the 1928’s team commitment to honoring student success. The Meisel Award is presented by the Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund of the WVU Alumni Association.
For more information, visit http://alumni.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Alumni Association
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