DeSpain Earns MVC Postgraduate Scholarship Award

ST. LOUIS – Missouri State swimmer Lily DeSpain has been named one of four winners 2024 Missouri Valley Conference postgraduate scholarship winners, the conference announced on Wednesday. The Missouri Valley Conference Faculty Athletics Representatives Committee voted to award postgraduate scholarships to the four student-athletes, due to their exemplary academic and athletic performances. Each will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship from the Conference.

DeSpain (Springdale, Ark.) received the 2024 Missouri State Outstanding Female Athlete Award earlier this month, presented annually to the university’s top female athletic performer. She won a team-high five gold medals and also earned a bronze at the 2024 MVC Championships to lead the Bears to an eighth straight conference title. 

She placed first in the 800-yard freestyle relay (7:12.19, MVC Record), first in the 500-yard freestyle (4:48.23, MVC season best), first in the 400 IM (4:14.92, MVC Record), first in the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.89, MVC season best), first in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:18.87, MVC Record) and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:31.50). For the season, she won 12 individual events and earned All-MVC first-team laurels while also being named as the 2024 MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s swimming & diving. She maintained a 3.78 cumulative grade point average while majoring in cell & molecular biology.

To be eligible for consideration, recipients must have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.40, participated with distinction in a Missouri Valley Conference championship sport for at least two seasons at the nominating institution and must graduate from their institutions within 18 months following selection at the spring meetings of the Faculty Athletics Representative Committee. 
Also, the recipients must be accepted for postgraduate studies at an institution of higher learning at the time of receipt of the scholarship.  And, the recipients must have completed eligibility for participation in intercollegiate athletics in the academic year in which nominated.

The other three recipients across The Valley were Avery Nowak (Belmont women’s soccer), John Stillman (Bradley men’s golf) and Tijana Zlatanovic (Illinois State women’s tennis).

This article is provided by Missouri State
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