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UND's Schneider wins prestigious scholarship

Mac Schneider didn't know about the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship before he applied for the award in January. Schneider is glad Phil Harmeson, the University of North Dakota's senior associate to the president, did. "I had no idea what th...

Mac Schneider didn't know about the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship before he applied for the award in January.

Schneider is glad Phil Harmeson, the University of North Dakota's senior associate to the president, did.

"I had no idea what this thing was," Schneider said. "I sure appreciate that being brought to my attention. I'm thankful for the people at UND who are always looking out for the students."

Schneider -- starting center on the UND football team last fall -- was named the 2003 Walter Byers Scholarship winner for NCAA men's Division II athletics.

The scholarship is annually awarded to one female and one male athlete in each NCAA division. Schneider said the scholarship is worth $21,500 and is renewable for a second year.

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Schneider graduated from UND with a degree in history and a 3.97 GPA. He currently works in the office of North Dakota congressman Earl Pomeroy in Washington, D.C.

"It's kind of a big dream right now," said Schneider, a 1997 Fargo South graduate. "It's really humbling, but you can't help question if you really deserve it."

Schneider interviewed with two other finalists in Key West, Fla., Monday morning.

"When you apply for something like this, you are just happy to be a finalist," Schneider said. "Winning it is icing on the cake."

Schneider said he also was thankful for letters of recommendation written by UND football coach Dale Lennon, UND history professor Eric Burin, UND assistant athletic director Jared Bruggeman and Pomeroy.

Schneider plans on continuing his education in law school.

"Where and when, I don't know," Schneider said. "But I'll definitely be using it for law school. It will be one less thing to worry about."

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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