Lutgert News

Lutgert Senior Wins Top Scholar-Athlete Award

April 26, 2021  / Lutgert News  / Tags: economics, 2021, Athletics, Award, finance

Economics/Finance doublemajor Kayla Whetstone has won a Kavanagh Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award, the Department of Athletics’ highest award for graduating senior athletes.

The Kavanagh Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes students who combine outstanding athletic and academic success with community service. Whetstone was one of two winners for Spring 2021.

Kayla Whetstone (right) with fellow award winner Maja Ornberg at the 2021 NESTIES Ceremony.
Kayla Whetstone (right) with fellow award winner Maja Ornberg at the 2021 NESTIES Ceremony.

As a member of the FGCU beach volleyball team, Whetstone recently became the program's all-time wins leader despite the cancellation of all but four matches in her junior season due to Covid-19. The Arlington, Texas native is the only Eagle with multiple 20-win seasons after establishing the program's single-season wins record as a sophomore. Her prowess earned her a spot on the 2019 ASUN all-tournament team and the AVCA's Top Flight Award for having the best winning percentage in the state of Florida among No. 3 pairs and the fifth-best in the country.

I am in awe at how all the athletes are able to balance conference championships and travel with all of their classes and finals.

Academically, Whetstone graduated this spring with magna cum laude honors and majors in both Economics and Finance. She has contributed over 80 hours of community service during her career at FGCU, including assisting special needs children in playing baseball through the Miracle League DFW, coordinating activities in P.E. classes at Treeline Elementary School, tutoring fellow FGCU student athletes, and reading at elementary schools throughout the region through Read Across America. Whetstone also served on the Lutgert Student Advisory Board, interned as a forensic accountant with Buchanan Clarke Schalder LLP, and co-authored a research paper with Dr. Amir Neto of the Regional Economic Research Institute.

“I am in awe at how all the athletes are able to balance conference championships and travel with all of their classes and finals," said head beach volleyball coach Chris Sweat. "Kayla has shown time and time again that she is the standard at this. As focused as she is on her team and their goals, she still knows that she is a student first and her grades and accolades show how hard she works. She left her legacy here at FGCU in a big way and I couldn't be more proud."