Though his Dragon track and field career may be over, senior Aaron Lund was one of 87 student-athlete men to receive the prestigious 2011-12 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarship will help Lund in his pursuit of a postgraduate education.
“Receiving an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is not only a tremendous honor for myself and my family, but more importantly, this scholarship is a great honor for the Athletic Department and MSUM as a whole,” Lund said. “I have put a lot of effort, time and passion into academics, athletics, and community and campus service at MSUM and this scholarship award is a huge blessing in my life.”
Created in 1964, the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship promotes and encourages postgraduate education by rewarding the most accomplished student-athletes. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are all taken into account.
Lund is one of three Northern Sun student-athletes to earn the scholarship during the men's winter sports. Twenty-nine in total make up each sport season, with the three seasons (fall, winter and spring) totaling 87 scholarships for each men and women. It was Minnesota State University Moorhead's Faculty Athletic Representative, Ellen Hill, who nominated Lund for the award.
“Aaron's academic performance at MSUM has been exemplary, despite a demanding course load and heavy involvement in university and community activities, of which athletics has been just one of many activities,” Hill said . “He exemplifies the type of leader that we hope all students become. Being awarded one of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships is a great honor in itself, and the scholarship will help Aaron continue to grow throughout his graduate school program.”
“It is fitting that Aaron Lund is one of the 29 recipients of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for the past (winter) season," said MSUM Athletics Director Doug Peters. "He exemplifies what being a Dragon is all about: having passion, working hard and serving others."
Lund graduated in May 2011 with a degree in Communication Studies and minors in both Leadership Studies and Coaching. He is currently a graduate student working towards a Master's of Science in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education. Lund plans to graduate with the master's degree in the spring of 2013.
After he graduates he plans to re-enter the world of track and field, this time as a coach. The feeling of accomplishment for himself and his teammates as a Dragon helped shape his hope to bring that feeling to others.
“The first time I stood on the podium to receive All-American honors with my relay team was a proud moment,” Lund said. “More importantly, the time the men's track and field team became indoor and outdoor conference champions was a great moment. Fourteen guys had season bests or a personal record at that conference indoor meet. As a captain and leader of that team, I was proud that the men's team came together, worked toward a common goal and accomplished that goal.”
That moment of success would not seem like a possibility during Lund's first year of college at North Dakota State University. He had a struggle with what he wanted to do in his life and what would make him happy. Looking for support, Lund turned to a higher power.
“God focused my path on Communication Studies and track and field, so I turned to MSUM and instantly found success.”
Once at MSUM, Lund served a big role around the campus and the community. The roles he served range from the vice-president of Communicators-In-Action to the Student Activities Graduate Assistant for the Office of Student Activities, and from Treasurer of the Graduate Student Organization to a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. While serving all of these positions, he still found time to attend sporting events and school plays to support his fellow Dragons.
Finding time to attend all of Lund's sporting events was, as he says, the biggest support throughout his academic and athletic career. His parents, Chris and Jen Lund, would travel nearly everywhere, including the most recent event in Pueblo, Colo., to see their son compete.
“I owe everything to my mother and father for their continuous support,” Lund said. “Right before I compete, I look up in the stands and try to find where my parents are sitting.This calms me down and puts a smile on my face knowing that they care and love me so much.“
After earning multiple Academic All-Northern Sun and All-American honors and his service around the community, Lund deservingly earned one of the limited NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. No matter where he takes his skills and coaching abilities, Lund will carry one thing with him.
“I am a Dragon for life.”
Written by Collin Boyles, Sports Information Coordinator