ASU honors President Obama with scholarship program

April 11, 2009

Arizona State University invited President Barack Obama to speak at its graduation ceremony out of the greatest respect for him as an individual and world leader.

“I apologize for the confusion surrounding our invitation to President Obama to address ASU students at commencement,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The entire ASU community has been electrified with excitement since we learned of his participation in our commencement ceremony. We hope that the recent discussion of honorary degrees will not detract from the honor and thrill that ASU – and indeed all of Arizona – is experiencing in anticipation of his visit. I am honored, as are our faculty, staff and students, that President Obama will give his first commencement speech as president of the United States at ASU.” Download Full Image

In recognition of President Obama’s commitment to educational access and to an entire career dedicated to public service, ASU is naming and expanding its most important scholarship program in his honor. Going forward, this program will be called the President Barack Obama Scholars and will offer thousands of students with the greatest financial need the opportunity to go to college.

“It has always been our intention to recognize and honor President Obama's accomplishments during his visit,” said Crow, “but we had not yet determined the best or most appropriate way to do so. Although the focus and attention of the media and others has been on an honorary degree, we never felt that was the only—or even the best—means of honoring his tremendous service to our country. Naming this scholarship program after President Obama that will affect the lives of thousands of students is an honor befitting, not only the president’s exceptional achievements, but also his values as an individual. The President Barack Obama Scholars program will be a legacy that will endure and inspire others for generations to come.”

Gary Campbell

Media Relations and Marketing Manager , Fulton Schools of Engineering


Williams' record run highlights strong outings at Sun Angel Classic

April 12, 2009

Despite an early morning downpour and the threat of showers throughout the day, the fans that filled Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday were once again treated to an exciting Arizona State University track and field competition as some of the top athletes from across the nation came together to put on a show at the 30th Sun Angel Track Classic presented by Coca-Cola. The host Sun Devils walked away from their third home meet of the season with 23 regional qualifying marks while also capturing four individual event titles.

Available to be viewed on, the Classic brought out more stellar marks from the Sun Devils, but none better than the runs by Charonda"> Williams as the senior won the premiere portion of the 100m dash in 11.44 before taking the premiere 200m dash in a school-record 22.82 to finish second overall. While her time in the shorter sprint was a mere 0.03 off her personal best, her 200m time smashed her previous best and broke the 18 year-old record of 22.91 set by Maicel Malone in 1991. Download Full Image

Williams was not the only ASU woman to win an event as Sarah">">Sarah Stevens, who regionally qualified in all three throwing events, won the premiere portion of the shot put with a huge toss of 18.00m (59-00.75). Stevens, who placed among the Top 4 in her two other events, recorded regional marks in the discus at 54.58m (179-01) one day after qualifying in the hammer throw at 64.87m (212-10).

The throws also produced a pair of victories for the men as Ryan">">Ryan Whiting captured both the premiere shot put and the invitational discus. In the shot put, the two-time defending NCAA indoor champion won a competition that featured the Top 4 indoor finishers from one month ago with Whiting hitting a mark of 19.61m. He also won the discus with a toss of 58.04m.

Three other marks recorded on the day joined Williams' record run on the ASU all-time Top 10 list, including two by the women and one by the men. On the track, Angela">"... Spadafino ran a five-second personal best to move into No. 8 all-time in the steeplechase with her time of 10:32.56 while newcomer Brandon">">B... Bethke blazed to a time of 3:42.82 in the men's 1,500m premiere to add his name to the list at No. 4 all-time. In the field, true freshman Cara">">Cara Carpenter cleared 4.00m (13-01.50) in the pole vault to become the fourth woman to do so and moved into a tie for the No. 3 position on the charts.

Overall, the Classic, which saw nearly 1,000 collegiate and post-collegiate competitors entered, produced 278 regional qualifiers. The women totaled 140 qualifiers while the men produced 138.

The Sun Devils will send a handful of athletes to the Mt. SAC Relays next week in Walnut, Calif.