Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
Senior Val DeWeerd of the volleyball program was named the 32nd recipient of the Bill Boyden Award Wednesday.
Val DeWeerd Named 2012 Bill Boyden Award Winner

MOUNT PLEASANT - The Bill Boyden Award Selection Committee and Central Michigan University are proud to announce Val DeWeerd as the 2012 winner of the Bill Boyden Award.

DeWeerd is a three-time letterwinner with the volleyball program. She becomes the 32nd recipient of the award and is the second volleyball student-athlete in the award's history.

"We are very proud of Val for winning this distinguished award," head volleyball coach Erik Olson said. "When it came time to nominate someone from our program for the Bill Boyden Award the first name that came up was Val DeWeerd. We felt Val encompassed the whole body of being a great citizen and community leader outside what we do as a team. She was a part of the first Mid-American Conference Tournament championship, and all the leadership she provides us really displays that she is a tremendous all-around person."

The Boyden Award is selected each year from among those applicants who are varsity letterwinners and are in their final year of eligibility. The award does not primarily focus on academics, but singles out a senior in good academic standing whose record best combines participation in a varsity intercollegiate sport with leadership ability in campus affairs and activities, interests or accomplishments in the arts, and community involvement.

Off the court, DeWeerd has spent many hours volunteering within the local Mount Pleasant community as well as in the greater Grand Rapids and Detroit metro areas. DeWeerd currently serves as the secretary of the registered student organization Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is also in her second year as the head first grade Sunday School teacher at Mount Pleasant Community Church. A double major in human resources management and psychology, DeWeerd sports a 3.64 grade point average and is a member of the Psi Chi National Honors Society for Psychologists.

The Hudsonville, Mich., native has spent each of her college spring breaks serving on mission trips in Atlanta, Ga., Rock Hill, S.C., and Lakeland, Fla., and also went on a week-long mission trip during winter break of her junior year. DeWeerd was also awarded the Community Service Award from the Purdue Mortar Board at the Purdue Mortar Board Premier Tournament in 2009.

DeWeerd has played in 90 matches during her three-plus seasons in the Maroon and Gold, recording 591 kills 161 blocks and 140 digs. Her 20 kills were instrumental in the Chippewas winning their first Mid-American Conference Tournament title last season. She sits just outside the top 10 in block assists and total blocks in program history and should finish in the top 10 all-time in hitting percentage.

The Boyden Award is designed to honor the student-athlete who is and will be an exemplary representative of CMU.

The Bill Boyden Leadership Award was established in memory of W.B. ("Bill") Boyden, a 1935 CMU graduate. His life and accomplishments demonstrated a unique blend of athletic ability, leadership, business acumen, participation in the arts and an extraordinary involvement in community activities. 

Boyden was a football and track star who earned recognition as most valuable backfield man in his senior year at CMU and set a school record for the 100-yard dash in track that stood for many years. Active on campus, Boyden was elected President of CMU's Student Council and acted in several campus dramatic productions. 

Boyden volunteered countless hours and endless energy for CMU, reflecting his pride in and affection for his alma mater. He was a long-time member of the University Development Board, serving twice as its chairman, until his death in 1980. As a member of that board, Bill is acknowledged as the initial motivating force behind the construction of Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Boyden honored Central Michigan University during his life and the Boyden Award seeks to honor and continue promotion of his ideals and his university. 

DeWeerd will be honored at Central Michigan's home football contest on November 3.