Arizona's Myers and Cal's Kirk Named 'Living the Dream' Scholarship Winners

Jan. 15, 2008

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Two recent Pac-10 graduates, Whitney Myers of ARIZONA and Caleb Kirk of CALIFORNIA, have been named recipients of the 2006-07 'Living the Dream' Scholarship, presented by World Financial Group, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. The scholarship recognizes student-athletes who have served on their institutional Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) and demonstrated leadership. The $5000 scholarships for postgraduate study are awarded to one male and one female student-athlete each year.

'World Financial Group is proud to sponsor the Pac-10 Conference's Living the Dream Scholarship,' said Monte Holm, president of World Financial Group, Inc., a financial services marketing company headquartered in Duluth, Ga. 'Assisting student-athletes attain their dream of postgraduate work perfectly complements WFG's mission to help families and individuals throughout North America achieve their financial dreams.'

A native of Oxford, Ohio, Myers is a 14-time record-holder at Arizona, and one of the most decorated swimmers in Wildcat history, most recently named the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year. During her four-year career, Myers was a first-team All-American in seven different swimming events and a top three finisher at the NCAA championships in eight events. A member of the U.S. Women's National Swimming Team for three years (2004, 2005, 2006), Myers finished third at the 2004 Olympic Trials, fourth at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships and qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials in five events.

Outside of the pool, Myers participated in many service and leadership roles. She was co-president of the student-athlete advisory board, pre-pharmacy club liaison, student-teacher club member, group leader in the sponsorship of a low-income family and founder and director of a local swim clinic. Myers worked closely with local Girl Scouts troops, elementary schools and retirement communities, and represented her university through many speaking engagements.

A native of MiWuk Village, Calif., Kirk was a four-year letterwinner on the Cal gymnastics team, leading the Golden Bears to their best event score at the 2007 NCAA championships with a 9.450 in the still rings, which tied his career best. Recipient of the 2004 'Big C' and 'Most Improved' team awards, Kirk was also a two-time Academic All-MPSF scholar athlete and 2003 winner of the Balanced Man Scholarship.

In addition to his athletic accomplishment, Kirk demonstrated leadership as an Anatomy Enrichment Program teacher, a Worship Leader for Campus Crusade for Christ, and served as a summer retreat counselor and church minister at long-term care facilities. Kirk worked closely with the California SAAC, helping to raise donations for the Thanksgiving food drive that assisted local charities.

'Leadership and scholarship are hallmarks of Pac-10 student-athletes' said Hansen. 'We are most appreciative of World Financial Group's sponsorship of the 'Living the Dream' scholarship which recognizes and encourages these characteristics.'

The Pac-10 Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is composed of representatives from each member institution, selects the winners of the award each year from nominations submitted by each campus SAAC. The winners are recognized at the Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament in March.

To be eligible for the award, nominees must have completed their athletics eligibility, be enrolled in or plan to attend graduate school, have been a letterwinner in a varsity sport, and have served a minimum of one year on the campus SAAC. Other factors which may be taken into account during the selection process include other leadership activities, community service, grade point average, service as a SAAC officer, and level of athletic achievement.

Also nominated for the 2006-07 'Living the Dream' Scholarship, presented by World Financial Group: Adam Ritter, Arizona; Ryan McBride, Arizona State; Cassidy Farwell, Arizona State; Jennifer Wendell, California; Julia Drewes, Stanford; Jackie Nguyen, UCLA; Travis Boyd, Washington.

PAC-10 CONFERENCE: Named Whitney Myers of Arizona and Caleb Kirk of California winners of the 2006-07 'Living the Dream' Scholarship, presented by World Financial Group.

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