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Malakei Sumner
Hickory High grad Malakei Sumner was named one of two recipients of the McGriff Insurance Services Minority Postgraduate Scholarship.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Pair of LR Student-Athletes Receive Conference Sponsored Postgraduate Scholarship

Lenoir-Rhyne’s standouts Malakei Sumner and Noah Martin have both been awarded South Atlantic Conference scholarships. Sumner was one of two individuals awarded the McGriff Insurance Services Minority Postgraduate Scholarship, while Martin was honored with the South Atlantic Conference’s Bob McCloskey Insurance (BMI) Postgraduate Scholarship.

Sumner, a senior from Hickory, N.C., was a member of the Bears football and track and field team here at LR. He had 292 yards receiving on 19 catches this past season, and helped the Lenoir-Rhyne football team reach the NCAA Semi-Finals. In the classroom, Sumner was an eight-time member of the President’s List and member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Chapter of the National College Athlete Honor Society. He graduated with a 3.98 GPA in exercise science with minors in psychology and sports studies, and was a member of the Bears Leadership Academy, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was invited to participate in the National Society of Leadership and Success. Sumner plays to attend graduate school at Virginia Union and will study Master of Social Work.

“I believe the quote from a black poet named Langston Hughes pairs well with what this minority scholarship means to mean. I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go. its not by anything I have done but God at work through me. He empowers me with that will and determination to get where I need to go and this scholarship is aiding me in continuing my journey,” said Sumner.

The McGriff Insurance Services Minority Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded to SAC minority student-athletes who excel academically and athletically, and have completed their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Sumner will receive a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $2,000 toward the graduate school.

Martin, a senior from Greensboro, N.C., was a member of the LR’s swimming team. Martin was a dual major who graduated with degrees in religious studies and history. He finished this past year with a 3.94 GPA, and was a four-time member of the Lenoir-Rhyne’s President’s List and a two-time member of the Dean’s List. Martin was the Vice President of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, was the Order of Omega President, and was the President of the Theta Xi Fraternity. He earned the John Henry McDaniel Citizenship award in 2023 and was the SAAC Community Service Coordinator. Martin also helped fund raise for Habitat for Humanity and collected canned goods for the Order of Omega Annual Food Drive. Martin will pursue his Masters Degree here at Lenoir-Rhyne.

“I am truly blessed and honored to receive this scholarship and to be able to continue my academic pursuits,” said Martin.

The BMI postgraduate scholarships are awarded to SAC student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and have completed their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Martin will receive a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $2,000 toward graduate school.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}