Nashville, Tenn. - The 2010-11 academic year was one of the most memorable for Tennessee State University Tigerbelle Daniecce Ward.
She finished out the track and field season recording personal records in five events during outdoor competition and received the team's academic award during the Department of Athletics annual banquet.
To add to a successful year, within one week from representing the University with the Tennessee Consortium of International Studies' study abroad program in China, Ward became the fourth recipient of the annual Wilma Rudolph Skeeter Scholar scholarship.
The Clarksville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc presented the award during their annual gala. The night and scholarship honors the memory of legendary TSU Tigerbelle Wilma Rudolph, just one day after what would have been her 71st birthday.
Rudolph became the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals. She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and anchored the 400-meter relay team.
The scholarship is given to help support a student-athlete from either Tennessee State University, her alma mater or Austin Peay State University, located in Clarksville, Rudolph's hometown. It rotates between the two schools, with this year's scholarship going to Ward, a senior nursing student at TSU.
Ward becomes the second Tigerbelle to receive the scholarship following teammate Daniell Exum. Exum was the second recipient accepting the award in 2009.
"This scholarship means so much to me because I'm a Tigerbelle, and over the years, I have learned so much about Wilma Rudolph," Ward told the The Leaf Chronicle. "To be honored with this scholarship named in her honor is more than words can express. I'm very honored to receive this award."
Ward was nominated and notified of her achievement by current TSU Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services, Dr. Johnnie Smith. Smith is also a member of the Clarksville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. with the chapter presenting a $3,000 donation to the Tabernacle Christian School.
"I am so very proud of Daniecce's hardwork in the classroom, and she truly deserves this prestigious honor," said Dr. Smith. "Both Coach Cheeseborough and I are confident that she will continue to excel and reach her career goal of becoming a pediatrician."
Ward is coming off a career season in track and field after finishing third in the triple jump with a personal best, 37' 5.75" (11.42m) at the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Championship in May.
"I think she (Daniecce) is blossoming into a tremendous student-athlete. She has improved on the field but her efforts in the classroom overshadows her feats on the field," said TSU Director of Track and Field, Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice. "We expect great things from her going into her senior season next year and we are extremely proud of her."
Ward accepted the ward within a week of her return after studying abroad in China visiting the cities of Beijing and Shanghai during her three-week stay.
Ward transferred from Lane College at the beginning of her sophomore year. She is a nursing major and native of Milwaukee, Wis., and is currently carrying a 3.5 grade point average.