NORMAL, sick. – Illinois State Head Golf Coaches Ray Kralis and Breanne Hall announced the student-athletes who have been chosen as recipients of prestigious endowed scholarships, and this year, six deserving and outstanding student-athletes were selected for these honors.
The 2022-23 recipients of the six golf-dedicated endowed scholarships include Kira Wolf, Avalon Woodward, Felix van Dijk, Valentin Peugnet, Alex McCullaand Wisdom Parker.
Durwood L. Boone Scholarship Recipient //Wisdom Parkersenior, Bloomington, Illinois
Wisdom played in six events during the season for 18 total rounds, averaging 75.0 strokes per round. He had five rounds at or below par, with a top 10 (ninth) at the Badger Invitational, carding a tournament one-under 215. He carded a season-low 70 round five times over the course of the season, including two during the previously noted Badger Invitational.
This scholarship was established with an initial grant from the estate of the late L. Durwood Boone, whose playing talents inspired the launch of the Redbird golf program in the 1930s. It was awarded to a Redbird golfer for the first times in 1995.
Recipient of the Helen Cushman Endowment Scholarship // Kira Wolfjunior, Mattoon, Ill.
Wolf played in 10 events and 27 rounds for the Redbirds, averaging 78.7 shots per round. She had one round during the year at par – with a final round 72 at the Little Rock Classic and had a season ending at the Coyote Creek Classic when she finished tied for 15th in the field of 66. .
In January 1995, the Helen Cushman Endowed Scholarship Fund was established with a gift from the late Pat and Nina Chesebro to benefit the Illinois State Women’s Intercollegiate Golf Program and to honor their close friend, Helen Cushman. The couple decided to start the fund before Pat died as a thank you to Cushman, who introduced them to the game of golf.
James and Carole Mounier Scholarship Recipients //Avalon Woodwardjunior, Palm Desert, CA // Felix van Dijksenior, Tilburg, Netherlands
Woodward, a member of the 2022 All-Missouri Valley Conference team, finished second on the team with an average of 75.9 with four rounds at par or less and two top 10s. His lowest round in the season came at the Red Rocks Invitational with a first round of 70, while she finished third at the Rio Verde Invitational for her best result of the season.
van Dijk, named to Team All-MVC and Team MVC All-Academic, averaged 75.1 punches per round over 21 rounds during the year. He had a season-low score of 69 at the 2022 MVC Championships, where he also had his season-low this year as he tied for fourth on the court. He had four rounds at or below par during the year and has a career run average of 74.7 over 60 rounds.
The Mounier scholarship was created in 2007 by James and Carole Mounier. Jim and Carole are proud Illinois State graduates who have been active in Greek Life-Sigma Nu and Delta Zeta. They both love golf and believe the sport builds character and success in life. The scholarship is awarded annually to one male and one female golf student-athlete each year.
DA Weibring Scholarship Recipient // Valentin Peugnetsenior, Volmerange-Les-Mines, France
Peugnet, in his first season at Illinois State, had the team’s second-lowest scoring average at 74.6 over 30 total rounds, and had 11 rounds at or under par for the season. He had a season low round of 70 twice, the first at the 2021 Badger Invitational and the second at the Boilermaker Invitational. His best individual finish came at the Badger Invitational as he helped the Redbirds win the tag team title en route to being named MVC Golfer of the Week.
Established in 1994 with proceeds from the first five DA Weibring Redbird Golf Classics, the scholarship – named after the former Redbird golfer – is awarded to a current Redbird golfer who meets specific eligibility criteria. The endowment became the first in the state of Illinois to be fully funded.
Andrew C. Butler Endowment Scholarship // Alex McCullasophomore, Quincy, Illinois
McCulla averaged 74.9 strokes per round in his first season with the Redbirds and had six rounds at or under par with two finishes inside the top 10. Since 2000-01, only five other golfers had a better single-season scoring average as a rookie, and he is one of seven golfers in the same span to complete two or more rounds under 70 in his first season, joining David PerkinsTommy Bliefnick, Trent WallaceKris Wildenradt, Kyle Vassel and Brian Anderson.
The Andrew C. Butler Endowed Scholarship was established in May 2015 through donations in memory of Andy Butler. Andy attended his beloved Illinois State University, where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Andy was an extremely successful salesman and manager for Sprint. He was an avid golfer and sports enthusiast, and a staunch supporter of the ISU Redbird. He had a passion for connecting ISU alumni and fans with Redbird Athletics and enjoyed attending games with his fiancé Jamie. The prize money spins to benefit a member of the Redbird men’s basketball, football or golf team.
This endowed scholarship is one of 31 available funded by private donors who have taken the opportunity to create a lifelong impact on student-athletes in the State of Illinois. If you want to know more about the Forever State Endowment Society at 309-438-2752.
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