KU Women's Golfer Alyssa Rainbolt Named Murray Scholar

Aug. 2, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. – University of Kansas golfer Alyssa Rainbolt, a redshirt junior from Wichita, Kan., has been selected as one of five 2009 Murray Scholars by a nationwide panel of sports journalists. The award, named for the late, long-time sports columnist Jim Murray, carries with it a $5,000 scholarship.

“I’m completely overwhelmed,” Rainbolt said. “Jim Murray was a renowned journalist, and it’s such an honor to receive a scholarship in his name. I know this scholarship will open many doors for me, and I’m grateful to the Jim Murray Foundation and to everyone who has supported my dreams of a career in sports journalism.”

Rainbolt was voted by her peers during the last two years to serve as a member of the Jayhawk Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Executive Board. She is very active in Kansas Athletics community service activities, having helped host Kansas Special Olympians at SAAC events throughout the past two years. She also leads an annual team effort to collect donations and shop for adopted kids through the “Adopt-a-Haskell Rascal” program. The program, which is done in conjunction with Haskell Indian Nations University, provides gifts to the children of student parents who are financially unable to do so.

Since arriving at KU in Fall 2006, Rainbolt has earned a spot on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll every semester, and has been named six times to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. The Big 12 Conference selected her to the Big 12 Good Works Team in Spring 2008. That recognition was based on significant community service and good academic standing.

The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, founded by his widow, Linda-McCoy Murray, has awarded 68 scholarships over the past decade. Second- and third-year journalism students are eligible for the grants, which are awarded on the basis of an essay competition. “The Murray Scholars are marvelous ambassadors for the Foundation,” McCoy-Murray said. “They inspire each other to strive for a higher standard in their writing and journalistic integrity, especially in this new age of electronic media.”

The other winners this year were students at Arizona State University, the University of Maryland, St. Bonaventure University and Trinity College in Hartford, Ct. This year’s judges were Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times; Bob Ford, Philadelphia Inquirer; Nancy Gay, FanHouse.com NFL, AOL Time Warner; Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal World, and Jay Privman, the Daily Racing Form.

Jim Murray, who died in 1998, won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1990 and won the National Sportswriter of the Year Award 14 times. His outstanding work earned him a spot in the writers’ wing in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.

Grants from the McCormick Foundation, St. Louis Rams, NFL Charities, Linda McCoy-Murray and private donations provided this year’s scholarships. More information on the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is available at www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.