ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum University's Taylor Battle and Christian Bell have been awarded the South Atlantic Conference's inaugural McGriff Insurance Services Minority Postgraduate Scholarships, the Conference announced on Thursday.
"It is truly an honor to be able to award not one, but two postgraduate scholarships for minority student-athletes to assist these amazing individuals in furthering their education," said SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz. "As a conference we have had a long standing tradition of making a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and being able to reward the hard work and dedication that these student-athletes have put in on the field and court, as well as in the classroom is very exciting."
"We are thrilled to be able to support these scholarships and help these outstanding student-athletes further their education," said Dan Nunnery, Vice President of McGriff Insurance. "We are committed to supporting the SAC and all of its student-athletes."
Battle, a senior outfielder from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was a two-time All-SAC softball selection. She finished her career with a .303 average; three home runs and 55 runs batted in, and is Tusculum's all-time leader in stolen bases with 63. She is tied for seventh in games played (191), eighth in games started (187), fifth in at-bats (594), tied for eighth in runs (100), tenth in hits (180) and third in triples (19).
"I am sincerely blessed and honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the South Atlantic Conference Minority Postgraduate Scholarship," Battle stated. "This scholarship will award me an opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams; a career embedded in helping others reach their goals and motivating them in doing so. In addition, I can minimize the stress on the financial part of graduate school and focus on becoming the best Physical Therapist I can be. Thank you for believing in me and giving me a chance at becoming something great."
A four-time SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll selection and Dean's List honoree, Battle will graduate this Saturday with 3.72 GPA in biology, earning Cum Laude honors. She plans on attending graduate school at East Tennessee State University where she will pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
"I am extremely proud of Taylor for earning the South Atlantic Conference Minority Postgraduate Scholarship," said Julie Huebner, Tusculum head softball coach. "She has embodied the true definition of a student-athlete in her time at Tusculum, and it is great to see the league reward her hard work in the classroom."
Bell, a senior football player from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, was a three-time time SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll selection and Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll honoree. He helped lead the Pioneers to three top-four finishes in the SAC football standings, while competing in seven games during his career.
"I am extremely blessed and thankful for the opportunity of gaining the South Atlantic Conference Minority Postgraduate Scholarship," said Bell. "I will make sure that it goes to good use while attending the MASA program at Tusculum. I would like to thank everyone who took the time and helped me through this process."
A sports management major, Bell holds a 3.80 GPA. Upon graduation he plans on attending Tusculum where he will pursue a Masters in Sports Administration degree.
According to Tusculum head football coach Jerry Odom, "Christian is an outstanding young man who is very driven and works extremely hard. He is a person you can trust will give you everything he has every day. He will be a success in the biggest game of all: Life."
The McGriff Insurance Services Minority Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded to SAC minority student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and have completed their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Both Battle and Bell will receive a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $2,000 toward the graduate school of their choice.