The Professional Bowlers Association announced today that Melanie Hannon, a sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University, has been awarded the PBA’s Bill Welu Scholarship award for 2014.
The Welu scholarship was established to annually recognize a college student who combines outstanding bowling talents with academic excellence.
Hannon, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., has had a very productive year in 2014 earning NCAA and Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year honors as well as First Team All-American honors bowling for the FDU Knights. She also earned a spot on Junior Team USA 2015 as top qualifier in the U20 division of the 2014 USBC Junior Gold Championships.
She was selected to the Dexter High School All-America Team in 2010-11 and in 2011 and 2012 was a Teen Masters finalist. Locally, she was named the Greater Buffalo USBC Female Bowler of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She has been involved with the Greater Buffalo USBC Youth Leaders since 2007, serving as president from 2010-2013. She received USBC’s Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow Award in 2013.
Among her other bowling accomplishments include three New York State Pepsi Tournament titles (2011, 2012 and 2013), 2011 North Pointe Singles Championship title, and a top finish of sixth in the Junior Gold Championships which came in 2013.
“I’m very honored to win a scholarship where you know there are so many other great candidates who are being considered for it,” Hannon said. “Bowling has been very important to me not only because of the lessons I’ve learned in the sport but what it has also taught me in life including the importance of qualities such as teamwork, persistence and determination.”
Scholastically, Hannon, who is studying nursing at Fairleigh Dickinson, holds a 3.76 GPA and is a member of the honor roll.
Hannon will receive a $1,000 scholarship. To be eligible candidates must be amateur bowlers who are currently in college (preceding the application date) and maintaining at least a 2.5/4.0 GPA or equivalent.
Welu, who passed away in 1974, was best known for his expert analysis alongside legendary ABC broadcaster and PBA Hall of Famer Chris Schenkel on the “Pro Bowlers Tour” series. Welu was a two-time PBA Tour champion and a member of the PBA Hall of Fame’s inaugural induction class in 1975.