Two academically talented Boston College seniors who also are accomplished athletes have received postgraduate scholarships from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Daniel Creighton and Jacqueline McDonnell, both from Illinois and enrolled in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, have received 2018 Weaver-James-Corrigan Awards for performing with distinction in the classroom and in their respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. The $6,000 scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate studies.

They were among 52 student-athletes honored on April 11 at the annual Cone Health ACC Postgraduate Scholarship Luncheon presented by ESPN.

“Both Dan and Jackie exemplify what it means to be a student-athlete,” said Faculty Athletics Representative and Associate Professor of Economics Robert Murphy. “I’m thrilled that they are receiving postgraduate scholarships from the ACC, which are awarded for distinction in both academics and athletics. Each has excelled in the classroom and in their sport. This is truly an honor for them and recognizes their hard work, motivation, and talent.

"More broadly, their success reflects Boston College’s motto—'Ever to Excel'—on the playing field, in academic studies, and in life,” added Murphy, who attended the awards event at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel in Greensboro, NC.

Daniel Creighton
Daniel Creighton

A member of BC's Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program and a biochemistry major, Creighton, whose sport is swimming, was invited to deliver the student address at the event—an honor for him and for BC, said Murphy.
A three-time recipient of the athletic director's award for academic achievement, a three-time winner of the team-given James J. Kane award for academic achievement, as well as BC’s Class of 2018 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Creighton was the team captain for the 2017-18 season. He has been involved in cancer research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center during his undergraduate career, and plans to go to medical school.

“I am truly honored to be receiving this award and representing Boston College to the best of my abilities," Creighton said. "This award means two very important things to me: First, it’s a firm demonstration of the continued growth and evolution of our swim team, both academically and athletically, and I couldn’t be happier graduating with the team in such a good place. Second, looking beyond Boston College, this scholarship presents the unique opportunity to pursue a dream. I’ve spent the last four years trying to prepare myself for medical school, and this scholarship brings me one step closer to making that dream a reality.

“I want to thank my coaches Dan Kelly and Mike Stephens, as well as my teammates, for giving me the tools needed to succeed in the pool, as well as all of my professors for challenging me to get to the next level," he said.

Jackie McDonnell
Jackie McDonnell

McDonnell, whose sport is rowing, is among three recipients of the Pat Thacker Award, given to students destined for  postgraduate studies at ACC institutions. The English and communication major, who plans to attend law school, was a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar Athlete award winner in 2017, and is a three-time All-ACC honor roll recipient, and a three-time athletic director's award for academic achievement honoree.

“Receiving the ACC postgraduate scholarship is a blessing particularly because of the ACC's generosity and the honor of being among an exceptional group of student-athlete recipients,” said McDonnell. “This scholarship will enable me to offset the costs of law school, for which I am very grateful to the ACC and those in Boston College's Athletics Department. During my career as a lawyer, I can only hope to pay forward the ACC's generosity and empowerment of others, especially because the ACC has provided me with so much as an athlete and is now continuing to do so as I progress to law school.”

The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, the first three ACC commissioners. The Jim and Pat Thacker Award honors the late primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC’s first television network, and his late wife.

More information on the awards is available at

—University Communications | April 12, 2018