Nov. 26, 2008
BERKELEY - Former California swimmer Justin Pollard was named one of two 2008 recipients of the Pac-10 Conference's "Living the Dream" Scholarship, presented by World Financial Group, Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen announced on Wednesday. Pollard joins former Golden Bears Walter Chun and Caleb Kirk as a winner of the award. Chun, currently in his fifth year as an assistant men's golf coach at his alma mater, won the honor after the 2001-02 season. Kirk, a former gymnast, won the award following the 2006-07 academic year.
Former UCLA track and field star Ingrid Kantola is the other recipient of the 2008 scholarship, for which former Cal track and field and cross country runner Rebecca Yau was also nominated.
The Pacific-10 Conference and Pac-10 Properties established the "Living the Dream Scholarship," presented by World Financial Group, to recognize student-athletes who have served on their institutional Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) and demonstrated leadership. The Pac-10 Leadership Award is a $5,000 scholarship for postgraduate study awarded to one male and one female student-athlete each year.
Pollard, a native of San Jose, Calif., was a four-year member of Cal's swimming team and was a co-captain as a senior. He competed at the 2008 Olympic Trials and 2006 Summer World Championships trials. In 2007, he earned the Golden Bear Award for the most improved team member, helped Cal place fourth at the NCAA Championships twice and helped Cal take second in the Pac-10 Swimming and Diving Championships every year while he was a Bear. A three-time Pac-10 All-Academic first-team honoree, he was the recipient of the Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest cumulative averages. Pollard is an economics major with a 3.93 GPA and is expected to graduate in May 2009.
Pollard's leadership activities included serving as Pac-10 SAAC Co-Chair in 2007-08. He is currently the Pac-10 representative to the NCAA's SAAC. Pollard received Cal's Walter A. Haas, Jr., Community Service Award in 2008, after organizing and participating in various outreach events - including College Sports Day (an event for local youth to interact with Cal athletes to promote college education and a healthy lifestyle) and Special Olympics of Northern California (in which he served as a referee) - and cleaning transitional housing in San Francisco.
The Leadership Award winner is selected by the Pac-10 Conference SAAC, which is composed of representatives from each member institution, each year from nominations submitted by each campus SAAC. To be eligible, nominees must have completed their athletics eligibility, be enrolled or plan to attend graduate school, have been a letterwinner in a varsity sport and have served a minimum one year on the campus SAAC. The winners will be recognized at the Pacific Life/Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament in March.