Courtesy: Robert Barclay/CMU
Raechel Zahrn is just the third softball player to win the award since its inception in 1981.
Zahrn Named Boyden Award Winner for 2013
MOUNT PLEASANT, MIch. - The Bill Boyden Award Selection Committee and Central Michigan University are proud to announce Raechel Zahrn (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs HS) as the 2013 winner of the Bill Boyden Award.

Zahrn is just the third softball player to win the award since its inception in 1981, joining Terri McFarland (1982) and Kathy Moody (1986). She will be recognized as the 2013 award winner during CMU's football home opener Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

"Raechel is a very talented young women and I am proud to see her represent CMU and the softball program," said CMU softball coach Margo Jonker. "Because of her hard work, she has made big strides since arriving on-campus and is now a major contributor for us on the field. Also, her graphic design skills have been a big asset to our program."

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.

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

A three-year letterwinner, Zahrn has appeared in 109 games during her first three seasons. She started 35 games, primarily as the designated player, and helped lead the Chippewas to the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament championship and an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Zahrn is a graphic design major with a 3.94 grade-point average and was inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society, during CMU's 2013 Scholar-Athlete Banquet. She has been a member of the Dean's List each of her first six semesters on campus, including four semesters when she posted a perfect 4.0 GPA and was named to the President's List.

Zahrn already is putting her major to practical use, leading a team of four artists who created a proposed redesign of the CMU art department's website. She also is active in Design Herd, a CMU Registered Student Organization for graphic design majors.

Zahrn has volunteered her time with the Curious Kids' Museum in St. Joseph, Mich., the Color Run Breast Cancer Awareness 5K and an annual Senior Citizen Valentine's Day basket delivery with other CMU students, among other initiatives. She also annually volunteers with the Miss Berrien Springs Pageant, including designing and creating the event's program booklet. Zahrn was named Miss Berrien Springs in 2010.

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.