Former astronaut and NFL player Leland Melvin will return to his alma mater to give the keynote address at the 2017 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Awards Luncheon, April 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Jepson Alumni Center.

The luncheon will honor the 25th anniversary of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Program and will focus on athletic achievement and academic excellence in student-athletes. About 175 secondary and college athletes, parents, coaches and faculty members from the mid-Atlantic region are expected to attend.

Melvin was a wide receiver on the University of Richmond football team from 1982 to 1985 and later served on Space Shuttle Atlantis. His book, “Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances,” will be published May 23.

Sonja Robinson, director of Inclusion for the NCAA, will preside over the awards.

The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Program was established in 1992 to honor undergraduate student athletes of color who exemplify the standards set by former tennis great Arthur Ashe Jr.

The event is sponsored by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the office of the president at the University of Richmond and the NCAA Office of Inclusion. 

To learn more about the 2017 sports scholars, including this year’s semifinalists and team winners click here.

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