Runner Meghan O'Donoghue shares 2014 Derryberry Award honors

Runner Meghan O'Donoghue shares 2014 Derryberry Award honors

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --  Meghan O’Donoghue, a four-year member of the Tennessee Tech cross country and track & field teams, has been selected as one of two recipients of what is considered one of the university's premier honors, the Derryberry Award.

A senior political science and French major from Talbott, Tenn., O'Donoghue demonstrated keen leadership instincts and exhibited scholastic achievement during her studies at Tech, all the while managing her time to compete throughout the fall season on the cross country team and the spring on the track & field squads as a distance runner.

The Derryberry Award is given to a graduating senior who has displayed moral and academic integrity, campus involvement, good citizenship, leadership qualities and physical vigor.

O’Donoghue will accept the honor at TTU’s annual luncheon forum Tuesday, April 29, just days before she will compete at the Ohio Valley Conference Track & Field Championships in Edwardsville, Ill.

O’Donoghue served as the secretary of the Tennessee Tech student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) from 2012 to 2014. In that role, she managed student involvement in the community and served as a liaison between student-athletes and the NCAA and OVC.

As a freshman, she was elected senator for TTU’s Student Government Association. While serving on the SGA, she worked with other representatives to address campus issues and provide suggestions for students.

For her entire college career, O’Donoghue participated on the varsity cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track teams. She was awarded the OVC Academic Medal of Honor four times and made the dean’s list and OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll from 2010 to 2014. She ran in 25 of Tech's 27 cross country meets during her career, including all 20 during her final three years. On the track, she has competed in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter races.

O’Donoghue has volunteered with Tennessee Tech’s cross country and track teams at a variety of community activities. She has also served as a French tutor and WIN program tutor.

In addition to her participation in academic and sport-related activities, O’Donoghue was a member of the executive council of TTU’s Newman Catholic Campus Ministries and served as treasurer from 2012 to 2014.

Her parents are Conor and Susan O’Donoghue. She is a graduate of Morristown Hamblen High School West.

This year, TTU had two outstanding seniors who received the award. Elissa McLerran, an agriculture major from Red Boiling Springs, Tenn., joined O'Donoghue as co-winner of the Derryberry Award. McLerran graduated from Clay County High School and is the daughter of Tim and Laura McLerran.

Courtney Tucker and Molly Heady were finalists for the award. Tucker is studying accounting and music performance at TTU. A Henderson High School graduate from Hendersonville, she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Tucker. Heady, a nursing student from Monterey, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Heady, and was a four-year member of the Golden Eagle women's basketball team.

The Derryberry Award was established in honor of Everett Derryberry, who was TTU’s president for 34 years. He retired in 1974.