Student-Athletes Honored at ExCEL Awards Ceremony
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Seniors Latisha Harris (Aynor, S.C.) and Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and freshman Lorenzo Wright (Summerville, S.C.) were recognized as part of the eighth annual Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) award program on Wednesday at the Sottile Theatre.
Harris and Lawrence were awarded most-outstanding student-athlete ExCEL awards and Wright was nominated for the Outstanding Student of the Year award for the School of Education, Health and Human Performance.
In addition to the student-athlete recognition, Dr. Vince Benigni, the CofC Athletics Faculty Representative, was recognized with one of the Outstanding Faculty ExCEL awards.
Harris, a center on the women’s basketball team, helped the Cougars more than double their win total from last season and their 16 wins was the third most in the last 23 years. Harris set the Cougars DI record for rebounds in a season with 265.
“I’m so proud of Latisha and excited for her to earn this award and know she has a bright future ahead of her,” CofC head coach Natasha Adair said. “She exemplifies what a student-athlete is on the court and in the classroom. I’m glad I got to be part of this journey with her in her senior year at the College of Charleston and I’m excited to see what is to come for her.”
“Latisha has grown so much as a student-athlete since her freshman year,” said Keith Merritt, Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services. “She is the example of what we want our student-athletes to strive to be. She has excelled in athletics, academics and serving the community, that’s being a well-rounded individual. She is so deserving of this award due to her dedication as being the best she can be.”
Lawrence, a point guard on the men’s basketball team, spent the summer prior to this school year as the youngest member of the Great Britain National Team and competed in the London Olympics. He returned to Charleston and helped the Cougars win 24 games this season and moved into the top-10 in CofC history in career assists.
“I’m really proud of Andrew,” CofC head coach Doug Wojcik said. “He has executed and balanced everything so well. He has great commitment and dedication to our team and his academics and is a true leader and model student-athlete.”
“Andrew has been a pleasure to work with during his time at the College of Charleston,” Merritt said. “He has worked through challenges to earn his degree and has been dedicated to this endeavor. Andrew has been a positive representation of our campus community and what a successful student-athlete can be. When interacting with young people in our community, his uncanny ability to make any young person he interacts with feel like the only person in the room is truly heartwarming.”
Wright is a freshman outfielder on the CofC baseball team and played center field at Ashley Ridge High School in Summerville. Wright made the All-Region, All-Lowcountry and North-South All-Star teams in high school, and has scored four runs as a pinch-runner this season for CofC. Wright is a physical education major at the College of Charleston.
"Lorenzo Wright has been a great ambassador for our baseball program in his first year at College of Charleston," head coach Monte Lee said. "He works hard on the field and in the classroom, and has been a great citizen among his peers. He is very deserving of this award."
“Lorenzo is quite deserving of an ExCEL award,” Merritt said. “It has been a pleasure to watch Lorenzo grow since he arrived on campus last summer. He is a diligent student and a positive member of our campus community. His commitment to success in the classroom and on the baseball field, along with his commitment to doing the right things, shows the promise of a bright future at the College.”
The ExCEL awards honor faculty, staff, students and community groups for promoting excellence and diversity at the College of Charleston. Nominations may highlight excellence in academic achievement, teaching, student learning/leadership, athleticism, individual contributions to the campus community, and/or professional, social, and cultural leadership.