IRVING, Texas -- Mount Union senior linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam) is one of 135 semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy as announced by the National Football Foundation.
The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Spencer is a Computer Science major with a 3.985 grade point average. He graduated from high school early four years ago, enrolled at Mount Union in the spring of 2012.
On the field, Spencer was second on the team last season and was an All-Amercian, an Academic All-American, an All-OAC First Team and All-North Region Second Team pick. In 2013, Spencer played in 13 games and had 56 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss as he earned All-OAC honorable mention and Capital One Academic All-District selection. As a freshman, he started the final seven games for the national champion Purple Raiders in 2012 and was an All-OAC honorable mention pick.
He is a two-time winner of the NCAA Elite 89 award, which goes to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average at a national championship event.
A two-time team captain, he has aided in a variety of leadership and community service that include Trick or Treat with the Raiders, Habitat for Humanity and Rodman Public Library.
The NFF will announce 15 finalists on Oct. 29, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared in dramatic fashion the winner of the 26th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Mount Union has sent three finalists to New York City over the years -- Nick Driskill in 2012, Greg Micheli in 2008 and Eric Safran in 2007.
"These 135 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year's semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders."
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distribution to more than $11 million.
"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist's achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates."
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.