Jennifer Keyes, Wa-Hi Scholar-Athlete, Takes Home Prestigious Murr Scholarship
News Release Date:
Friday, August 22, 2008
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Jennifer Keyes, an all-star in the classrooms and athletic
arenas at Walla Walla High School, is the 2008 recipient of the Murr
Keyes, who maintained a 3.88 grade point average at Wa-Hi while excelling in three sports, hopes to play both basketball and soccer at Whitman. She plans to focus her Whitman studies on history, Spanish and math. Her career plans are to teach and coach at the high school level.
The Murr Scholarship has been awarded since 1992 to a Wa-Hi senior on the basis of financial need and merit, and admission to Whitman is a prerequisite. The award, which includes financial aid from Whitman, covers full tuition and room and board for four years. Keyes also received one of the inaugural Banner Bank Scholarships, designed to help bring outstanding students from Eastern Washington (where Banner Bank has a presence) to Whitman. The $5,000 scholarship is renewable for four years.
Keyes, who was recruited to play basketball at Whitman, captained her high school team while earning Columbia Basin League first-team honors in her last two seasons. She also earned first-team recognition as captain of her soccer and softball teams, and her extra-curricular activities included terms as National Honor Society president and student body secretary and vice president.
"We are delighted that the Murr Scholarship Committee selected Jennifer as this year's recipient,” said Tony Cabasco, Whitman’s dean of admission and financial aid. “She is a talented student, leader, and athlete who will certainly contribute to and benefit from the Whitman community. We are pleased that the partnership between the Murr Family Foundation and Whitman College continues to help talented students from Walla Walla High School attend Whitman."
The Murr Scholarship, sponsored by the Murr Family Foundation, was established by Michael Murr and his wife, Eva, at Whitman specifically to help fund the education of one Wa-Hi graduate every year. Michael, who graduated from Wa-Hi in 1969, was an excellent student and outstanding athlete, is a member of the Walla Walla Athletic Hall of Fame and has been recognized as a Wa-Hi Graduate of Distinction. He earned bachelor of arts and MBA degrees from Harvard University.
Keyes, a 5-foot-6 guard on the basketball floor, is a multi-talented player, said Whitman women’s basketball coach Michelle Ferenz. “Jennifer is comfortable handing the ball and has good court vision, and for a guard she is a very good rebounder,” Ferenz said. “She is a very good outside shooter who can put the ball on the floor and create opportunities for herself and her teammates. Jennifer also has a great work ethic and is a tremendous competitor.”
A four-year starter in basketball for Wa-Hi, Keyes was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of her team in each of her last three seasons. She led Wa-Hi to a 16-4 regular season record as a senior, when it hosted (and won) its first-ever regional playoff game. As a junior, her Wa-Hi team earned Academic State Champion honors.
While basketball may be her primary sport, Keyes plans to try out for the Whitman women’s soccer team in late August. She was a four-year starter on Wa-Hi’s soccer team, playing forward in her first three seasons and earning first-team all-league honors as a junior. She played most of her senior campaign as a defender, again earning first-team recognition. She was a two-time winner of her team Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and received Most Inspirational honors as a senior.
In softball, Keyes was a four-year starter as a shortstop. She received her team's Most Inpirational Player award in her final two seasons, when she and her teammates won or shared the league title. Her softball teams twice won Academic State Champion honors.
As a capstone to her high school career, Keyes was named Female Athlete of the Year at the 32nd Annual Blue Mountain Youth Recognition Evening, which was held in May in Walla Walla.
Keyes is the daughter of Carolyn and Bill Keyes of Walla Walla. Johnny Keyes, a cousin who was
on both the swim and golf teams at Whitman, is a 2005 graduate of the college.
Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information Director
(509) 527-5902; email@example.com
Lenel Parish, Whitman News Service
(509) 527-5156; firstname.lastname@example.org