FRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian football student-athlete Kade Parmelly and McNeese track and field student-athlete Haile Gilroy have been awarded the 2020 F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarships, Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett announced Tuesday.
Parmelly excelled in the classroom and compiled a 3.96 GPA as he completed his undergraduate degree in kinesiology in three years. He was a recipient of the Dean’s List Award every semester at ACU and a two-time Southland Football All-Academic Team member.
A captain of the 2019 Abilene Christian squad, the offensive lineman has played in 34 consecutive games entering the 2020 season. Last week he was named the 2020 Wildcat Club Male Student-Athlete of the Year.
Parmelly volunteers with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) by serving as a student leader among his peers as well as local middle schoolers. He served as a FCA representative at New Student Orientation and worked the FCA’s golf fundraiser to help send kids to camp. Earlier this year, he volunteered at the Senior Health Fair/Expo by taking vitals of the participants and educating them with nutritional advice. He has also been a leader with the football team’s annual Spring Cleanup, where they go into the Abilene community to check on the elderly, help with tasks like mowing lawns, and engaging them as ACU campus representatives.
He is also a member of Gamma Sigma Phi, a Christian-centered social club. In May 2018, Parmelly served on an international mission trip to Ghana, Africa, with the ACU Missions Departments. The following Spring in a partnership with his church in Abilene, he traveled to Dubai to work with a student ministry there
Parmelly plans to work on a graduate certificate in conflict management and, following that course work, he would like to attend seminary and work towards becoming an overseas missionary.
The F.L. McDonald Scholarship is the league’s ultimate academic honor for graduating student-athletes. The award is presented annually to one female and one male student-athlete and is selected by the Southland Conference Faculty Athletic Representative Committee. The $5,000 scholarship must be applied to graduate study at an institution of the recipient’s choice.
The award was established in 1996 in memory of Dr. F.L. McDonald, a former president of Lamar University and 1999 Southland Hall of Honor inductee. McDonald was serving as Lamar’s president in 1963 when the Southland Conference was established. He is considered one of the league’s founding fathers.
Parmelly and Gilroy will be recognized this evening during the Southland’s Virtual Awards Show at 5 p.m. on Facebook Live.