ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Burger King Corporation has named Mesa State College's Josh Penry the 1998 Burger King College Football Scholar Athlete of the Year. This prestigious honor was announced live during the ESPN2 Home Depot College Football Awards Show at MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida at 8:00 pm EST on December 10. As the recipient of this honor, Burger King will donate $100,000 to Mesa State College's general scholarship fund. This $100,000 is in addition to the $35,000 that Burger King donated to honor Penry as a Division II Scholar Athlete of the Week and as a Scholar Athlete of the Year finalist. Each week throughout the 10-week 1998 college football season, Burger King Corporation named eight Scholar Athletes, two from each college football division, and donated $10,000 to the general scholarship fund of each Scholar Athlete's school in the name of the athlete. All award winners had a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and exhibited strong leadership qualities both on and off the football field. Last week, Josh was named one of the four finalists for the Burger King College Football Scholar Athlete of the Year Award. He was chosen by a panel composed of members of the American Football Coaches Association and Burger King Corporation. Burger King donated $25,000 to the general scholarship funds of each of the four finalists' schools. This award was above and beyond the $10,000 each finalist's school has already been awarded in the name of their Burger King Scholar Athlete of the Week. Penry joined University of Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (Division I-A); Princeton University's Alexander J. Sierk, (Division I-AA); and Western Maryland College's Tom Lapato (Division III), in Orlando for the announcement of the Burger King College Football Scholar Athlete of the Year Award. The four finalists were chosen based on their outstanding athletic performance, academic achievement and commitment to the community from a group of 80 individuals who were honored this year as Burger King Scholar Athletes of the Week. Penry, a Grand Junction, Colorado native, is the starting quarterback for Mesa State College. He is a senior Political Science major, who has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has received numerous Mesa State College academic honors including: five-time President's List Scholar, Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society Charter Member, Alpha Chi National Honor Society Academic Achievement Award, Senator Tilman M. Bishop Scholarship Award recipient, Presidential Scholarship Award, Golden Key National Honor Society Academic Achievement Award and Mesa State College Student of the Year in 1998. In addition to his scholastic and athletic accomplishments, Penry was a convention delegate; United States Student Association Grassroots Legislative Conference -- Washington, DC, '98; Legislative Aide to State Senator Tilman M. Bishop, '97; S.H.A.R.E. Colorado Volunteer, '97-'98; and a member of Club 20. "Josh is the quintessential scholar athlete. He is a brilliant example of the balance one can achieve on the field, in the classroom and in their community. We are proud and honored to have Josh Penry as our Burger King Scholar Athlete of the Year. He represents the best of what the Burger King Scholar Athlete Program is all about," said Jim Watkins, Burger King Corporation senior vice president, North America Marketing. Developed to foster the pursuit of athletic and academic excellence while encouraging social awareness and community service, the Burger King College Football Scholarship Program, now in its fourth year, is the largest single corporate commitment of its kind in the United States. By the end of the 1998 college football season, Burger King will have donated $4.3 million in scholarship awards in names of Scholar Athletes to 174 colleges and universities nationwide. Burger King Corporation and its franchisees operate more than 10,000 restaurants in all 50 states and 53 countries and international territories around the world. Since the company's founding in 1954, Burger King(R) has become recognized for its great flame-broiled taste and Have It Your Way(R) food customization process. In fiscal year 1998, Burger King had systemwide sales of $10.3 billion. Burger King is a subsidiary of Diageo plc, one of the world's leading branded consumer products companies.
SOURCE Burger King Corporation