Fans can vote for Kirby online at SeniorCLASSAward.com (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Walker Kirby of the Harvard men's lacrosse team has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award®, officials announced Wednesday. The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 20 candidates announced last month.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Kirby has been a four-year standout on defense for Harvard, playing short-stick midfielder, long-stick midfielder and close defense. He has caused five turnovers and scooped up 15 ground balls through nine games this season, including a two-caused turnover, five ground-ball effort versus Brown. As a junior he was named All-Ivy League honorable mention and to the All-NEILA Second Team after posting career-highs with 13 caused turnovers, 33 ground balls and four goals in transition. All of this was done after his latest position change from long-stick midfielder to close defense.
Even more impressive than his on-the-field contributions have been Kirby's contributions to a number of community service initiatives. This began the summer after his freshman year when he spent eight weeks in South Africa working at Don McKenzie Hospital helping to treat patients affected by HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis. Following his sophomore year, Kirby served as a proctor and residential advisor for roughly 10 high school students attending Harvard Summer School, during which time he hosted study breaks and chaperoned day trips among other duties.
Kirby currently serves on the team's leadership council and as a community service representative, helping to organize community service opportunities for the team. In this role Kirby has been instrumental in Harvard's involvement with Team Impact and forming a relationship with a young man afflicted with several ailments. This young man now has his own locker in the locker room and visits for practices, games and team meals. The team also has visited two of the young man's off-campus baseball games to support him in his own athletic career.
Kirby has also helped to organize youth clinics with Metro Lacrosse, and helped organize the team in support of the One Love Foundation to raise awareness of domestic violence on college campuses. As part of this effort the team took part in the Yards for Yeardley campaign, and played a game at Boston University with a portion of the ticket sales going towards the One Love Foundation. In addition, he is a two-year member of Harvard's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
A native of Morristown, New Jersey, Kirby has maintained a 3.7 cumulative GPA as an economics concentrator with a secondary concentration in government.
The winner of the award will be chosen following a vote from fans, national media members, and NCAA Division I coaches. Nationwide voting is already open and will remain open through May 9. You can cast your vote for Kirby here.
The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the 2016 NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championships in Philadelphia, May 28-30.