Two Track and Field Student-Athletes Earn NCAA's Highest Academic Award

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Jennifer Kearns

Associate Director of Public and Media Relations



INDIANAPOLIS---Anne Golden Bersagel of Wake Forest University and Bryan Christopher Norrington of Colorado College have been named the 2006 recipients of the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarships.

Bersagel and Norrington, who were selected from among six finalists (three men, three women), will each receive a $21,500 scholarship from the NCAA. They have the option of renewing the scholarship in year two of their studies if they are in excellent academic standing.

Anne Golden BersagelBersagel, a three-time All-American in cross country and a repeat Academic All-American honoree, was twice recognized as Wake Forest’s scholar-athlete of the year. The five-time track and field All-American and 2008 Olympic hopeful in the 10,000 meters, is a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion in the outdoor event and was the 2005 league champion in the indoor 5,000 meters.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and has completed internships with the U.S. State Department at the embassy in Oslo, Norway, and with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. She also served as U.S. representative to the NATO Youth Summit on Anti-Terrorism in Belgium and the Danish Atlantic Youth Seminar in Denmark last year. She states as her long-term goal to one day become the United States Secretary of State.

At Wake Forest, Bersagel was an elected member of the Honor and Ethics Council, a panel responsible for hearing cases of alleged honor-code violations and determining sanctions, when appropriate. She volunteered as a care provider for infants of migrant farm laborers through Head Start in Colorado and served as a reading tutor at elementary and middle schools. She was also vice president of Wake Forest’s Amnesty International chapter.

Bersagel plans to pursue a master of public policy degree with a concentration in foreign affairs.

Bryan Christopher NorringtonStudy abroad in Costa Rica, Japan, the Czech Republic, Senegal and Canada has fueled Norrington’s plans to pursue a career in development, public health, human rights and public affairs. His ultimate goal is to establish a nongovernment organization that will provide nutrition, health, educational and developmental support to rural communities in need.

The international political economy major with minors in Asian studies, Black studies and Central American culture and society captained the Colorado College track and field team in 2004 and established the school record in the 400 meter intermediate hurdles.

In addition to serving as a member of Colorado College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, he was a student intern and minority recruitment and minority organizations representative with the school’s office of admissions. He also was a member of the Minority Recruitment Task Force and participated with the student ambassador program. Norrington also was co-president of the Black Student Union and has been involved as a mentor and co-leader in a mentoring program at a middle school.

A member of Mortar Board National Honor Society and the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society for social science, Norrington appeared in multiple theater and dance productions.

He plans to pursue a dual master’s degree in public affairs and urban and regional planning with a certificate in health and health policy.

The Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program was established in 1988 to recognize the contributions of the former NAA executive director, Walter Byers, and was developed to encourage excellence in academic performance by student-athletes. A Byers Scholar is recognized as an individual who has combined the best elements of mind and body to achieve national distinction for his or her achievements, and who promises to be a future leader in his or her chosen field.

Award recipients are required to have at least a 3.5 grade-point average (4.0 scale), show evidence of superior character and leadership and demonstrate that participation in athletics has been a positive influence on personal and intellectual development, among other notable qualifications.

Last year, Sarah Dance, a Truman State University swimmer, and Matthew Gunn, a University of Arkansas runner, were named 2005 Walter Byers Scholars.

The NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Committee is chaired by Robert Thomas, athletic director at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Members of the committee are Lee Meserve, faculty athletics representative from Bowling Green State University; Elizabeth Wilkes, director of compliance and ticketing at Wofford College; Eugene Hermitte, faculty athletics representative at Johnson C. Smith University; and Jack Ohle, president of Wartburg College.