Lever First Rower to Receive Marlene Mawson Award

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas rower Claudijah Lever was recognized for her hard work, her involvement in the community and her and consistent positive attitude both on and off the water, as the senior was named the 2015 recipient of the Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award on Saturday afternoon. She became the first rower in school history to take home this accolade.
“I was super excited, it was such an honor to receive that award,” exclaimed Lever. “Of all the athletes I thought, ‘Why me?’ I know I do things for the community, but it’s just out of the kindness of my heart and how I was raised.”
Lever received the award from Marlene Mawson, head coach Rob Catloth and Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Debbie Van Saun during the women’s basketball game against West Virginia. The award is presented by Kansas Athletics to one senior female student-athlete each year that played an integral role on her respective team and demonstrates strong character and leadership qualities, while also being a strong competitor in the classroom and on the field.

Lever’s academic accolades include being a three-time selection to the Fall Athletic Director’s and the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She was a member of the 2014 Big 12 All-Academic First Team, as well as being named to the 2014 Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
On the water, Lever helped the KU rowing team place third in the First Varsity Eight in last year’s Big 12 Championship. As a sophomore, Lever was a member of the second-place finishing boat at the Big 12 Championship, competing in the Second Varsity Eight.
Lever had a strong presence in the community. Her involvements include being a “Big Sister” from Douglas County Big Brother/Big Sister program, volunteering at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, being a volunteer during the holidays for the Salvation Army and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity both in Douglas County and Milwaukee County.
“We are really happy about Claudijah getting the Marlene Mawson award,” stated Catloth. “It’s definitely a well-rounded award. There’s a performance aspect to it, a community service aspect to it and academic as well. She has performed well on all of those accounts and is a very deserving recipient of the Marlene Mawson award.”

Nicknamed the “Mother of Kansas Athletics,” Dr. Marlene Mawson was appointed to a full-time physical education faculty position with the added responsibility of initiating an intercollegiate women’s sports program in 1968. In addition to directing the program, Dr. Mawson coached women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and field hockey during her first three years at KU. For 22 years, Dr. Mawson was a professor and administrator at the University of Kansas.

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