HOUSTON – Rice University women’s track & field/cross country head coach Jim Bevan announced on Tuesday the creation of the Emily Massad Rabbitt Award.
“Emily Rabbitt was the epitome of what you would want from a student-athlete at Rice,” said Bevan. “She embodied all of the attributes in this award and I was looking to honor these unique qualities in our program. Emily was a great student, leader, athlete and persevered and overcame setbacks and injuries while competing at Rice. Due to her resilience and passion, Emily helped us win our first conference title in 1994 in cross country while finishing her Masters in accounting in one calendar year. Emily also graduated from Rice Magna Cum Laude. Our program is eternally grateful for Emily’s contribution and again I was looking to honor these qualities in the present time and started this award that will be given out on an annual basis.”
The recipient of this award embodies not only perseverance and resilinency, but also demonstrates an unusual ability to endure and overcome adversity. Much like Emily, the person must show she is a model teammate and a passionate athlete whose role as a leader has had a positive impact among her peers.
Rabbitt (Rice, 1994, Master of Accounting, 1995), from Dallas, was the 1994 Joyce Pounds Hardy Award winner, given to the premier women’s athlete determined under criteria for athletic and academic accomplishment, as well as personal character. Rabbitt was also named to the 1993-94 GTE All-America Women’s Track & Field Second Team in 1994 and was a USTFCCCA Indoor All-American as a member of the 4x800 relay team. She was twice named the Hubert E. Bray Scholar Athlete of the Year (1993-94) and was an Academic All-District VI At-Large in 1993. In 1992, she was part of the 3200m relay team (9:04.77) that won a Southwest Conference title. Emily is married to Kevin Rabbitt, who graduated from Rice in 1995 and was a member of the men’s basketball team and has four children together residing in Pittsburgh, PA.
Bevan has selected recent Rice graduate Belle MacFarlane as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious award.
MacFarlane was recently named the Conference USA Women’s Track & Field Scholar Athlete of the Year for a second consecutive year. In addition to earning C-USA Outdoor First-Team All-Conference honors in the high jump, MacFarlane was selected to the CoSIDA All-Academic District 7 team graduating with a 4.01 GPA while double majoring in Kinesiology and Psychology. She is a four-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member and twice named to the C-USA All-Academic Team. In addition, MacFarlane won the 2014 C-USA Outdoor high jump title and earned USTFCCCA All-American Honorable Mention honors later that summer.
“Belle MacFarlane was one of the most hard-working, driven, resilient and competitive athletes I have ever been around,” said Bevan. “She was a source of strength to team members and overcame adversity in her career and excelled as a student, and as an athlete and as a leader. I am happy to honor Belle with an award that rewards the attributes that she exhibits.”