The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Amber Cannon, the highest-scoring swimmer for the Lady Falcons of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB), was the 10th national top qualifier for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA). The swimmer was a standout as a freshman who accompanied the newly formed swim team during its inaugural season.
Amber was awarded the V.R. Cardozier Endowed Presidential Scholarship. "It is what made it possible for me to concentrate on my studies, to take a full load of courses and compete as a swimmer," she said, noting that without the support she would have worked full time and not taken more than a single class at a time. The scholarship is named in honor of UT Permian Basin's second president, Virgus Raymond Cardozier, who served the University from September 1975 through 1982. He later accepted a faculty position with UT in Austin and has now retired with his wife in the Capitol City. The endowment is invested in the Long Term Fund and has a market value of $46,134 as of August 31, 2004.
Amber, who is a first-generation college student, has already been named captain of the 2004-2005 women's swim team. Both men's and women's teams increased in numbers and plan to head to national competition again. "As a captain it's my job to get the team motivated to get to practice on time, to give it their all," she said.
The kinesiology major said the encouragement she received from faculty and teachers, and the financial support from the endowment have convinced her she wants to pursue a career as a swim coach. Traveling to Long Beach, California to compete in the national competition was a highlight for Amber. "The best part of competing in swimming is meeting new people, especially from different cultures. I found out that you can make friends anywhere."
"Amber Cannon is the kind of student everyone hopes for," said UTPB Swim Coach Rob Rankin. "She demonstrated leadership, integrity, and character. I can't think of anyone more deserving of the scholarship."