Halley Awarded Woytowych Endowed Scholarship
June 19, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State senior Erica Halley exemplifies the enthusiasm and passion for the sport of swimming, embodying the true attitude and spirit of a Redbird student-athlete. Based on her passion for Illinois State, Halley has been awarded the Dede Woytowych Endowed Scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year.
The scholarship was established in 2006, after former Illinois State swimmer Diedre "Dede" Woytowych passed away unexpectedly in 2005. The Woytowych Endowed Scholarship is presented annually to a swimmer who follows in Woytowych's footsteps of being a good teammate, hard-worker and possessing a love for the sport of swimming. Head coach Steve Paska, the Woytowych family and the Redbird Athletics Department started the scholarship to keep Woytowych and Illinois State swimming and diving together forever.
Paska feels Halley is enthusiastic in her daily life as a Redbird student-athlete and is the perfect selection for the scholarship.
"Erica's career as a Redbird student-athlete has been extremely successful," Paska said. "She is a tireless worker, who strives for excellence in the classroom as well as in the pool. It has been a joy to watch Erica grow and succeed into one of the fastest swimmers in school history. Erica leads by example, displays a tremendous amount of pride and the endless spirit in being a Redbird swimmer that Dede expressed during her career at Illinois State."
Halley was humbled to be selected for the scholarship and hopes she can continue to display the traits that the award is founded upon.
"Dede is always highly spoken about by our coaches and past swimmers. She left such an amazing legacy to live up to as a Redbird swimmer." Halley said. "Even though I never had the opportunity to meet her it is such an honor to accept this award. It was so humbling to receive the Dede Woytowych Endowed Scholarship and to know people saw some of her traits in me."
Selected as a team captain for the 2013-14 season, Halley broke the school record in the 50-yard freestyle (23.53) at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships last season on her way to earning 2013 First-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors. The Appleton, Wis., native was also part of the school's record-setting 200-freestyle relay, 200 and 400-yard medley relays, and anchored the first-place school record-breaking 400-freestyle relay (3:25.15) team.
Not only is she a force to be reckoned with in the pool, but Halley is a top performer in the classroom as a special education major. She maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.88, which earned her a spot on the 2013 MVC Scholar-Athlete Team.
The Woytowych Endowed Scholarship is one of 24 endowed scholarships available to Illinois State student-athletes that are funded by private donors. For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, please call the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund office at (309) 438-3803.
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