Athletic Department

Women's Golfer Bari Erais Wins 2009 Charles Orsborn Award
Release: Monday 05/05/2009 
by Bradley University

PEORIA, Ill. --  Bari Erais (Lethbridge, Alberta/Lethbridge Collegiate Institute), one of the most accomplished female student-athletes in Bradley Athletics history, was presented the Charles Orsborn Award Tuesday night, capping the University’s annual Athletics Awards Ceremony in the Michel Student Center Ballroom.


Formerly known as the Watonga Award, the Charles Orsborn Award is the most prestigious honor Bradley University can bestow on a graduating student-athlete and has been awarded annually since 1951 to the senior(s) who best combines athletic ability with academic success and community service.  Erais becomes the second consecutive winner from the women’s golf program and the third women’s golf winner in the last four years.


The 2007 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship medalist, Erais was a three-time All-MVC performer on the links (2006, 2007, 2008) and ended her career as Bradley’s all-time leader in career rounds played (108), rounds in the 70’s (73), stroke average (77.7) and top 10 tournament finishes (21).  She carded six of the top 12 individual round scores in program history, including a record-tying 69.  A two-time winner of the Bradley University B-Club Female Most Outstanding Athlete (2007 and 2008), Erais was a six-time recipient of The Valley’s Golfer-of-the-Week honor.


An accounting major, Erais boasts a 3.88 cumulative grade point average.  A three-time, first-team Valley Scholar-Athlete (2007, 2008, 2009), Erais also became the second women’s golfer in Bradley history to earn a spot on the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District V squad last spring.


In addition to her athletic and academic accomplishments, Erais has served on the Braves Council student-athlete advisory board the past two years.  She also has been a regular participant in the Buddy with the Braves and State Farm/MVC Just Read programs, while volunteering for the First United Methodist Church Loaves and Fish Ministry and the Beta Alpha Psi accounting fraternity.


Several other annual awards were presented during Tuesday night’s ceremony:  women’s basketball sophomore Jenny Van Kirk (Waconia, Minn./Waconia H.S.) was a repeat recipient of the Carl Grose Service Award; Senior Associate Athletic Director Craig Dahlquist was presented the Megan C. Fong Inspiration Award; women’s tennis player Kim Braun (Racine, Wis./The Prairie School) and baseball player Adam Kimble (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) were presented the male and female versions of the Coach Joe Stowell Award; and Alumni B-Club President Ron Harris won the Orville Nothdurft Lifetime Achievement Award.


Jenny Van Kirk Wins 26th Carl Grose Service Award

Tuesday’s awards ceremony began with the presentation of the 26th Carl Grose Service Award to junior women’s basketball player Jenny Van Kirk (Waconia, Minn./Wakonia H.S.), who is committed to volunteerism on campus, in Peoria and in her hometown.


A three-year participant in the Buddy with the Braves program, which is a mentoring, pen-pal style program with local school children coordinatied through the Bradley Athletic Department’s NCAA Life Skills program, Van Kirk also has volunteered for numerous activities throughout Peoria and around the country.  In addition to helping at the Peoria Park District’s “Harry Potter” Event, the WTVP Halloween Event at Wildlife Prairie Park, Van Kirk also has visited with patients at OSF Children’s Hospital, conducted a skills clinic for autistic children at Pleasant Valley Middle School and participated in the “Operation Snowball” event at Richwoods High School.  She also volunteered at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open and visited with war veterans in Alaska in 2007.


Dahlquist Honored With Megan C. Fong Inspiration Award

For the first time in the award’s seven-year history, the Megan C. Fong Inspiration Award was presented to an athletics staff member, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Finance Craig Dahlquist.


Completing his 25th year as an athletic department staff member, Dahlquist is the father of former Bradley Soccer player Danny Dahlquist, who was killed in a house fire days before the start of the 2007 season.  In the face of the tragic loss of his son, Dahlquist has remained a dedicated and energetic contributor to Bradley Athletics, well beyond his assigned duties.


Braun, Kimble Win Third Coach Joe Stowell Awards

In its third year of existence, the Coach Joe Stowell Award is given to the male and female student-athletes who best exemplify Stowell’s love for Bradley Athletics, as well as dedication to their teams and teammates.


Both of the 2009 winners, women’s tennis player Kim Braun (Racine, Wis./The Prairie School) and baseball player Adam Kimble (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.), were officers on the Bradley Braves Council student-athlete advisory board, have excelled in the classroom and have been overall positive role models for the teammates.


Ron Harris Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

A former cross country and track letterwinner, Ron Harris is the ninth recipient of the Orville Nothdurft Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented annually to a former Bradley student-athlete who has excelled in his postgraduate career.


An Edwardsville, Ill., native, Harris earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Bradley in 1956 and spent the next 20 years as a teacher and coach.  After beginning his coaching career at the high school level, he returned to The Hilltop in 1965 as the assistant men’s basketball coach.  Following a seven-year stint as the Bradley freshman team coach, Harris became the first varsity basketball coach in Samford University history in 1972.  He also coached professional basketball in Sweden.


Upon returning to Peoria in the lat 1970’s, Harris embarked on a successfull business career and became involved in thoroughbred horse racing.  He also has been a member of the Alumni B-Club letterwinners organization for the past 30 years, serving as the board president for the past decade.  Harris also served a term as president of the Bradley University national alumni association and he is a past director of the Braves Club Board.


2009 Alumni B-Club Most Outstanding Athlete Finalists

In addition to the awards that were presented Tuesday, eight candidates for the annual Alumni B-Club Most Outstanding Male and Female Athletes were announced.  The list includes baseball players Tommy Fitzgerald, Nick Mitidiero and Rob Scahill; men’s basketball player Theron Wilson; women’s basketball player Monica Rogers; softball players Alycia Bachkora and Ashley Birdsong; and track and field javelin thrower Erika Sepich.


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