Last year, former Wildcat volleyballer Brittany Biddle received the grant. Candidates must have exhausted their athletics eligibility, must have once received athletics financial aid and be within 32 semester hours of completion their first undergraduate degree at the end of the spring term. They also must have better than a 2.50 grade-point average.
McCurry-Larson is among just 82 recipients across all 300 NCAA Division II institutions to receive the award, and one of four former student-athletes in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference to be named
She was a standout lacrosse player, finishing her four-year WilmU career in 2015 as the program’s third leading goal scorer with 116 goals, and third all-time in total points, with 184.
McCurry-Larson didn’t take the typical path through four years of college as a student-athlete. She entered WilmU as Rebekah McCurry, then married Brandon Larson in her junior year. That’s when she really became appreciative of the athletic scholarship.
“I experienced a whole different aspect of college life,” she says. “All my teammates live with each other in and out of season. But it’s amazing to go home to our own home and always having someone there that is full of support. It made me grow up a lot quicker. Now on top of everything that is involved in school and athletics, you have to balance real life. Everything is on us now instead of parents and roommates.”
The Degree Completion Award couldn’t have come at a better time for McCurry-Larson, who was struggling to find the funds needed to finish her degree in digital production and film editing.
“The award was an answered prayer,” says McCurry-Larson. “Without a lacrosse scholarship anymore, we didn’t think we could swing it. It was a huge weight lifted from my mind.”
She says she has a lot of options out of college. She’s currently assisting a wedding photographer by filming weddings and producing video capstones.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to attend Wilmington University, especially on scholarship,” says McCurry-Larson. “And we are so excited and thankful to the NCAA for this scholarship option. It shows they are committed to the student-athletes and that they want them to finish school, even if they can’t during their athletic career. It proves a lot about who they are as an organization.” — Dan Lauletta