Recent Hope College graduate Nora Kuiper of Parchment, Mich has been awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship program was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes.

Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated.  In maintaining the highest broad-based standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.

Kuiper was a standout sprinter on the track and field team.  She was the NCAA Division III champion in the 100-meter dash and has been named the CoSIDA Academic All-American in women's track and field.

This spring she was presented the college's Schouten Award which is given to a woman in the graduating class who, in addition to excelling in athletics, possesses strong character traits and leadership abilities and the Sheila Wallace-Kovalchik Scholar-Athletic Award as the outstanding female senior in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).

A graduate of Parchment High School,  Kuiper is the daughter of Scott and Ann Kuiper.

"I have known Nora as both a student, since I had in her class, and an athlete, watching her for four years on our track team.  She frankly is very outstanding in everything she does, a well-rounded young woman who personifies the very essence of a liberal arts education.  She is what I call the hardest and best part of my job:  the best to have around for four years and the hardest to see go. But as she leaves Hope, I know she will go make a difference," Eva Dean Folkert, co-director athletics said.

Kuiper is the 17th Hope student-athlete, the sixth since 2005, to receive the scholarship. 

Kuiper's award is one of 58 postgraduate scholarships valued at $7,500 each to be presented to student-athletes in all NCAA Divisions who participated in tennis, golf, outdoor track & field, rowing, baseball and softball. She is the only honoree from a Michigan college or university.

In addition to the spring sport honorees, the NCAA also awards postgraduate scholarships to student-athletes participating in fall and winter sports. To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.200 (on a 4.000 scale) and must have performed with distinction as a member of a varsity team.  The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.

Students are nominated by the school's faculty athletics representatives. Candidates are screened by regional selection committees, and the award recipients are selected by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.