(Based on the highest GPA by graduating athletes)
Background: James T. Payne was a beloved member of the Crowder College faculty. Following a career as a high school English instructor at Neosho, Mr. Payne came to Crowder in the fall of 1965. Mr. Payne was a very popular Crowder faculty member who was loved and admired by his students and colleagues. Though not an athlete himself, he was a strong supporter of the Athletic Department and presented an award annually to the graduating athlete with the highest GPA. At the time, Crowder only had men's athletics.
Sadly, Mr. Payne passed away in 1978. Ironically, he suffered a fatal heart attack while sponsoring a group of Crowder students on a trip. In his memory, Crowder has two memorials to honor the first Crowder English Department Chariman- one is the beautiful tapestry located in the LRC an the other is the student seating in front of McDonald Hall.
James Payne would have loved these two winners and would have appreciated both of their strong efforts on the playing field, as well as the number of long hours dedicated to their academic career.
Morgan and Payton have been prime examples of what a student athlete is for two years. Their dedication in the classroom and the field is nothing short of excellence. We are proud of these sophomores! Congrats Morgan Montgomery and Payton Wildeman!