April 18, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue tight end Kyle Adams and swimmer Allie Smith each received the Big Ten Medal of Honor for the 2010-11 academic year at the John Purdue Club's annual Senior Salute on Monday night.
First awarded in 1914, the Big Ten endowed a Medal of Honor to be given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university who demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In 1982, the Medal of Honor was expanded to include a senior female student-athlete from each institution.
Adams wrapped up his Boilermaker career with 79 receptions for 660 yards and three touchdowns. He led Purdue with 36 catches in 2010, had at least one reception in all 12 games and was voted a captain by his teammates. He was one of 10 national finalists for the Danny Wuerffel Trophy his senior season.
A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, he was a nominee for a Rhodes Scholarship and was named Purdue's first first team Academic All-American since 2003 as a senior. He had the highest individual grade-point average on the team six consecutive semesters and was feted with the Kiwanis Citizenship Award twice.
The president of the Purdue chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Adams led three humanitarian missions to Haiti and one to South Africa.
Adams, who graduated from Purdue with a 3.97 GPA in management, is currently working out in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, but intends to attend graduate school after his football career ends with visions of working with developing countries economic growth.
Smith is a two-time NCAA qualifier, earning Honorable Mention All-American honors in the 100 backstroke and 200 medley relay in 2010 and the 400 free relay in 2011. The Green Bay, Wis., native established new program records in the 100 and 200 backstroke, 200 individual medley and was part of record-setting relay teams in the 200 and 400 medley events at the 2011 Big Ten Championships. Her top times in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM from 2008 still stand as Purdue freshman benchmarks.
A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Smith was selected as the Big Ten's Female recipient of the 2011 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award. She was the second Purdue student-athlete to win the award, which is annually bestowed upon only one male and one female student-athlete in the conference with plans of pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership. She will enroll in the master's program in physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis.
Smith is a member of or has participated in the Purdue OT/PT, Boilermaker Athletic Council, Purdue Cancer Center Challenge, John Purdue Club Thank-A-Thon, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Purdue Street Fest and Purdue Dance Marathon.
Recognized as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and CSCAA Scholar All-American in 2010, Smith has helped Purdue rank among the Top 10 nationally in team GPA. She also was one of standout members of an academic class that helped enhance the profile of the Purdue women's swimming and diving program on both the Big Ten and national levels.