Scholarship recipient

Will Siler, a four-year football player at the University of Central Arkansas, catches a snap as a holder for the UCA Bears football team. Siler is a recipient of the 2021 F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarship as given by the Southland Conference.

FRISCO, Texas — University of Central Arkansas football student-athlete Will Siler of Searcy and Houston Baptist softball student-athlete Sierra Humphrey have been awarded the 2021 F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarships, Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett announced Thursday.

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.

The pair will be recognized during the league’s Virtual Awards Show, which will be held today on Facebook Live.

Will Siler, Central Arkansas FootballSiler wrapped his four years at Central Arkansas with an unblemished 4.0 GPA. The biology/pre-med major has been accepted to the University of Arkansas College of Medicine with plans of being an orthopedic surgeon.

A deep snapper and holder from Searcy, Siler appeared in 31 games for the Bears. He was also named to the National Football Foundation’s 2021 Hampshire Honor Society. Siler is also a member of the Purple Society, a Who’s Who among UCA students, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and the Order of Omega, recognizing students in Greek Life with high academic achievement.

He also shows exemplary efforts in his volunteer work, participating in Read to Succeed, Samaritan’s Feet, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Haven House’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes and assisted with the Conway Elementary School 5K. An attendee of The Summit Church in Conway, he has served on the Worship Team for the past three years and plays drums on Sunday mornings and periodic Wednesday night services.

Sierra Humphrey, Houston Baptist SoftballHumphrey boasted a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a biochemistry/molecular biology major. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma Medical School with plans to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology.

The senior outfielder for the Huskie softball team hails from Tecumseh, Oklahoma. Her academic performance has been recognized with consecutive appearances on the Southland Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the HBU Varsity Athletic Achievement Award and her membership in the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. She also excels at helping her community, serving as a volunteer with Houston Food Bank, Sharpstown Cleanup and Campus Outreach Ministry.

A leader among her classmates, Humphrey led her microbiology research team to win a presenters’ award that was voted on among her peers. She also held a leadership position on HBU’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, giving the opening prayer at this year’s Spring Athletic Awards Banquet, and was selected to share her testimony about HBU during the Senior Convocation earlier this month.

Humphrey and Siler were chosen from a pool of fellow classmates and graduated student-athletes. Applicants must have at least a 3.75 GPA and have lettered at least two seasons at the nominating institution. Each recipient must enroll in a full-time graduate program within one year of receiving the award.

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