Nominated by the Southern States Athletic Conference, Clair Lanter, a soccer student-athlete and political science major at Lee, is the female winner of the A.O. Duer award. A three-time captain and three-year starter on a team that has won four consecutive NAIA national championships, Lanter is an outstanding soccer player and is noted for her leadership on and off the field.
Lanter also is a terrific student and an academic All-American who was selected to participate in the Model United Nations program and to serve as a tutor for the political science department. Lanter volunteers year-round for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for pediatric cancer, and she also is raising funds for a three-week mission trip to South Africa this summer, where she will work in AIDs orphanages.
“She is a woman who cares about others and the world around her,” said Stephen M. Swindle, associate professor of Lee University. “She sees her intellectual growth as a tool she can use to make the world a better place.”
This award is named for A.O. Duer, who served as executive secretary of the NAIA for 26 years and was well-known for his strong opinions that the NAIA and its member institutions should strive to effectively balance academics and athletics. The award is presented to an outstanding NAIA junior student-athlete who maintains an overall GPA of at least a 3.75 (on a 4-point scale). The NAIA Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives selects the two winners, one boy and one girl.
Shawn Keizer, a basketball student-athlete and biology/pre-medicine major at Dordt College (Iowa), is the male winner of the Duer award. He was nominated by the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Keizer’s tough pre-med track means that his high grades are in tough courses — anatomy, chemistry, physiology — but his academic performance has nonetheless been stellar. A guard, Keizer takes pride in his tough defense and averages six points a game. He also takes time to mentor younger players, and is happy to serve any other role in which he’s needed. He completed a medical mission trip to Tanzania last summer, working with doctors and nurses to assist with orthopedic surgeries and medical outreach and education. His service to others — from orphans in Tanzania to classmates to new team members — is noticed and appreciated. Keizer’s coach notes that his example has impacted the entire men’s basketball program.
“Shawn had a storied high-school career as a player, but he also brought with him an understanding that education was paramount and the idea that becoming a medical doctor would allow him to use his gifts to assist others,” said Dordt head men’s coach, Ross Douma. “His mindset has since permeated our program as many of his teammates have followed his lead in trying to reach their potential as student-athletes.”