St. Louis University High School Student Wins Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award

Photo of Jack Buck

From left to right: Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, Bryan Kujawa, winner of the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award, and Carole Buck, widow of Jack Buck.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

April 19, 2007 – A St. Louis University High School student who has been active in both his community and school was named the recipient today of the fifth Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award by Southeast Missouri State University.

The award was presented today to Bryan Kujawa of Fenton, Mo., at the annual “Southeast Salutes” Awards Luncheon at the Sheraton Westport in St. Louis.

Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, said “Southeast Missouri State is very fortunate to have the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award associated with our institution. Jack Buck was a man of impeccable character, a humble gentleman who went about his business quietly, but whose humility and professionalism left a lasting impression of excellence. We think these qualities are similar to those of Southeast, which has been cited nationally as a hidden treasure – a University with sound academic programs that is committed to our students and the values of our region. We think Jack Buck would call this award in his name ‘a winner.’”

Kujawa, son of Duane and Julie Kujawa, has thrived academically while actively participating in many school, athletic and community activities. He has served as a senior advisor to freshmen, the school yearbook editor, a member of the SLUH Art Club, and he has participated on both the football and track and field teams. Kujawa also is active in his church youth group and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity through the National Honor Society, and at T.A.S.K. Camp, helping special needs children. He plans to major in business administration at Southeast and pursue a career in the sports industry.

In 2003, Southeast Missouri State University teamed up with KMOX Radio in the establishment of the award. The award, which was the first scholarship to be established in memory of Buck, recognizes a student in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area who has demonstrated outstanding character, academic achievement and the potential to be a leader in the community.

The award covers incidental fees (tuition) and general fees for the equivalent of up to 32 credit hours per academic year at Southeast Missouri State University and residence hall fees for fall and spring semesters in a standard, double-occupancy room. The award, which is effective with the fall 2007 semester, also provides a 15-meal per week board plan.

Students from the St. Louis Metro Area, including St. Louis County and City, St. Charles County, Franklin County, Jefferson County and the Metro East area in Illinois were eligible to apply for the award. High school guidance counselors from the metropolitan area were asked to nominate one deserving applicant from their high school.

For nearly 50 years, Buck was the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals to generations of sports fans. He passed away in 2002. He was widely admired by his colleagues in the world of broadcasting and by the players whose feats he recounted for fans around the world. Buck worked tirelessly in support of charitable organizations and was committed to his family and his community.

Four other finalists for the award also were recognized today. All finalists receive a Jack Buck Regents’ Scholarship, which covers incidental fees (tuition) up to 32 hours per academic year for up to four consecutive years, and a one-time $500 Jack Buck Leadership Award to be applied to housing expenses. They are:

Sara BarbierSara Barbier of St. Louis is the daughter of Michael Georgevitch and Cathleen Georgevitch. Barbier has focused on her passion for science and for helping others during her time at Oakville Senior High School. She also participates in the Project Anti-Violence Education (PAVE) mentor program through Girl Scouts of America, and she volunteers as a tutor for fellow classmates in math and foreign language. Barbier plans to study molecular biology, foreign language and psychology at Southeast and aspires to attend graduate school and pursue a career as a genetics counselor.

Graham DunnGraham Dunn of Twin Oaks, Mo., is the son of Gary and Marcia Dunn. As a student at Valley Park High School, Dunn has participated in National Honor Society, student council, jazz band and the cross country team. He also is actively involved with his church, volunteering for Vacation Bible School, as a mentor and as the lead guitarist for the Living Water Praise Band. He plans to major in English and ultimately become a prosecuting trial lawyer.

Lauren McNamaraLauren McNamara of Breese, Ill., is the daughter of Joseph and Barbara McNamara. She has excelled both academically and in extracurricular activities. In addition to being named the Mater Dei High School class valedictorian, McNamara is a member of the cross country team, the track and field team, and the cheerleading squad. She is the sports editor for the school newspaper and has served as a class officer for four years. Her volunteer activities include youth ministry, peer mediation and Operation Safe Kids. McNamara plans to double major in mass communication and Spanish at Southeast and would like to pursue a career in journalism or sports broadcasting.

Maria WalterMaria Walter of St. Louis is the daughter of Gregory and Anne Walter. Walter has been actively involved while achieving an outstanding academic record at Notre Dame High School. She is a member of Beta Chi Pi, the Shalom Club, math team, chess club and the varsity cheerleading squad. Walter’s volunteer service includes tutoring younger children. She plans to study elementary and exceptional child education, saying that her desire to teach began at a very early age and continues today.