Vanderbilt runner nominated for Wooden Cup

A member of the Vanderbilt University men’s cross country team is one of five finalists for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup for being a positive influence.

Vanderbilt senior Rob Whiting will learn on Jan. 14 whether he bests the other candidates at a ceremony at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

The Wooden Cup is named for John Wooden, coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team from 1948 to 1976. It is given each year to a collegiate and professional athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. The professional award will go to retired baseball player Cal Ripkin Jr.

The Wooden Cup is awarded by Athletes for a Better World, a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports.

Whiting, an Ingram Scholar at Vanderbilt and double major in economics and East Asian Studies from Fernadina Beach, Fla., is the founder of Vanderbilt Students for Students, an organization that strives to build connections between Vanderbilt and under-resourced high schools. VSS has awarded two college scholarships to students from Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville with more on the horizon.

Whiting has also served as committee chair for Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility and spent part of three summers in China, where he hopes to return to promote poverty alleviation and social entrepreneurship.

The other nominees for the Wooden Cup are Ryan Adler, a hockey player at Hobart College; Andrew Berry, a football player at Harvard College; Lauren Mioton, a basketball player at Purdue University; and Tim Tebow, a football player at the University of Florida.

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

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