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Sociology major and two-sport standout at Purdue, Lawrence Burton won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1975. Upon graduation, he was drafted seventh overall by the New Orleans Saints and played six seasons in the NFL. While attending Purdue, Burton participated in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich and finished fourth in the 200 meters. He previously served as the Executive Director for the Willie Ross Foundation, a non-profit organization to enhance the quality of life for non-verbal, deaf and developmentally disabled adults.
During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature Northwestern University.
Luke Donald (2001, golf)
Luke Donald has been a professional golfer on the PGA Tour since 2001. He's won five career events and is currently ranked #18 in the Official World Gold Rankings. During his time at Northwestern, Donald was a four-time All-American, the 1999 College Golfer of the Year, the 1999 NCAA individual champion, a three-time Big Ten Player of the Year, four-time All-Big Ten honoree, two-time Big Ten champion and a 13-time tournament medalist.
Pat Fitzgerald (1997, football)
Winner of the 1997 Big Ten Medal of Honor, Fitzgerald was one of the most decorated linebackers in college football history. He was a two-time consensus All-American, earning the honor as a junior in 1995 and a senior in 1996. He was the first repeat winner of the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Now in his seventh season as the head coach at his alma mater, Fitzgerald has guided the Wildcats to five straight bowl games, including last year's Gator Bowl victory, their first bowl win since 1949. His name graces the conference's annual Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year Award.
Michele Ratay (1997, basketball)
Michele Ratay was named an honorable mention All-American and Academic All-American in 1997, the same year she earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native ranks in the top 10 of various Northwestern categories, including first in three-point field goals (244), third in points (1,798) and free throws made (442), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.388), fifth in free throw percentage (.811) and ninth in assists (368). Ratay holds the Wildcat record for most three-pointers in a season, netting 85 in 1996. She was a two-time All-Big Ten selection (1995-96) and four-time academic All-Big Ten honoree (1994-97). Ratay led Northwestern to the WNIT final in 1996 and an NCAA Tournament berth in 1997.
Shon Morris (1988, basketball)
A 1988 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Morris is Northwestern's only three-time Academic All-American. The leading scorer for the Wildcats in 1985-86, 1986-87 and 1987-88, Morris scored 1,407 points during his career at Northwestern. Morris' 371 free throws rank fourth in program history, and his 712 rebounds are sixth all-time. A four-year letterwinner and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Morris was also a three-time Northwestern MVP and was named All-Big Ten second team in 1988. The Altoona, Iowa, native serves as both a studio host and game analyst for the Big Ten Network and regularly appears on BTN Basketball Report, Tip-Off Show and The Finale. He has been an analyst for the network's Big Ten Tournament broadcasts since 2007.
Anucha Browne (1985, basketball)
A 1985 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Browne was twice named Big Ten Player of the Year during her career (1984-85). She is the Wildcats all-time leading scorer (2,307 points) and rebounder (951) and ranks third in blocks (174) and seventh in steals (196). Browne was named a first-team All-American in 1985 and was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (1983-85). She set the NCAA record by scoring 30 or more points in six straight games. Browne was named to the Big Ten's All-Decade team in 1992 and was inducted into the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993. She currently works for the NCAA as the Vice President of Women's Basketball Championships.
Lorie Miller (1984, volleyball)
A 1984 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Northwestern's Lorie Miller was a four-time letterwinner for the Wildcats from 1980-83. Miller guided Northwestern to its first Big Ten title in her senior season, in which she was named first-team All-Big Ten. Miller ranks seventh all-time on Northwestern's career service aces list (198). She earned her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and went on to earn her Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western University.
Marty Riessen (1964, tennis)
Riessen won a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles with Austrialia's Margaret Court. He also won Grand Slam titles in men's doubles. Riessen swept Big Ten singles and doubles titles for three successive years and lost in the NCAA singles final in all of those years. He was a five-time member of the U.S. Davis Cup team.
Arthur Kraft (1960, wrestling)
Kraft won a NCAA title in the 157-pound division in 1960, one year after losing a semifinal by one point to the eventual champion. He was coached by his younger brother, Ken, who had spent three years in the military. Arthur Kraft coached for 19 years at Triton College and won three national junior college championships.
Andy Cvercko (1959, football)
Cvercko played for Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers before becoming an engineer. He researched nuclear magnetic resonance at Argonne National Laboratories. In his senior year at Northwestern in 1958, Cvercko was tabbed a first-team All-American and Academic All-American. He was also a first-team All-Big Ten pick and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
William Droegemueller (1928, track)
He won a silver medal in the pole vault at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. He served in a hospital unit during World War II before starting his own ophthalmology practice.
The Big Ten's state-of-the-art video command center based in the conference's new office and meeting center in Rosemont, Ill., has been named in honor of David M. Parry, the Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials for two decades who passed away in 2011. The Big Ten held a dedication ceremony and installed a plaque in his honor on May 3, with conference dignitaries and the Parry family in attendance.
Parry served as the Big Ten's Coordinator of Football Officials from 1990-2009, where he played a crucial role in the implementation of the first collegiate football system of instant replay in 2004, which the NCAA approved for use among all conferences in 2006. An NCAA official for 20 years and a National Football League (NFL) official for 15 years, Parry's extensive experience included 20 NCAA Tournaments, 12 NFL playoffs and four NFL championship games. In 1983, he officiated Super Bowl XVII.
Parry was also named the first National Coordinator for College Football Officiating in 2008, and served as the National Coordinator for Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) officiating from 1996-2008. The David M. Parry Award is annually presented to the nation's most outstanding officiating coordinator.
Every nationally-televised Big Ten football, men's basketball and hockey contest is evaluated at the David M. Parry Command Center. The games are recorded and captured in the command center and immediately available for the commissioner and staff to review. The conference has the capability to evaluate each of the officials' calls and provide them the proper critique and training. The center houses eight 60-inch televisions and one 130-inch monitor.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune featured the Big Ten's video command center after visiting the facility last November.
Michigan's Jon Jansen (Football, 1999)
Winner of the 1999 Big Ten Medal of Honor, Jon Jansen was drafted in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and became a model of consistency during his 10-year career. He started 125 of the 137 games in which he played and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2005. During his collegiate career, Jansen was a two-time All-Big Ten performer at Michigan and helped lead the Wolverines to a national title in 1997. Serving as captain during his junior and senior seasons, Jansen earned All-America status as a senior, while also garnering Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 1997 and 1998.
Jansen talks about lessons learned on the field and in the classroom in this Q&A.
Urschel, who claimed the Big Ten Medal of Honor last May, was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2012 and 2013, helping the Nittany Lions rank among the Big Ten's top offensive attacks. The 2013 Campbell Trophy winner and Senior CLASS Award recipient and two-time first-team Academic All-American earned his bachelor's degree in less than three years on campus. He earned his first master's degree last May and is currently working on his second master's. This year, he taught Integral Vector Calculus and researched multigrid methods and computational mathematics.
Brees ended his collegiate career holding numerous school and conference records en route to winning Big Ten Medal of Honor laurels in 2001. He was not only an All-American and a Maxwell Award winner on the field, but was named Academic All-America of the Year his senior season. He guided the Boilermakers to the Big Ten Championship in 2000 and their first Rose Bowl Game berth since 1967. Drafted in 2001, he played five seasons with San Diego before moving to New Orleans in 2006. He became one of the many faces of the New Orleans community following the Hurricane Katrina tragedy by establishing numerous charitable foundations to help the area in its recovery.
Andersen, who won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1982, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection at Michigan State and also garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolades as a senior in 1981, a year in which he recorded the Big Ten's longest field goal with a 63-yarder. His success at Michigan State earned him a spot on the Walter Camp All-Century Team. Andersen was drafted in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL Draft and went on to become the NFL's all-time leading scorer with 2,544 points. In his NFL career that spanned from 1982 to 2007, Andersen was a three-time All-Pro, a seven-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL's 1980s and 1990s All-Decade teams. After retiring from the NFL, he started a family foundation aimed at providing educational scholarships and promoting fitness to prevent obesity.
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As the Big Ten continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, senior student-athletes Vanessa DiBernardo and Nathan Scheelhaase were named the 2013-14 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients for the University of Illinois, which were announced on Monday evening at the Fighting Illini All-Sports Celebration. DiBernardo is a member of the women's soccer team and Scheelhaase is a quarterback on Illinois' football team.
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