June 3, 2014
Northwestern Medal of Honor All-Time Winners
EVANSTON, Ill. - On Tuesday, June 3, Northwestern will unveil the school's 2014 winners of the Big Ten Medal Of Honor. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Conference’s most prestigious award, which was first presented in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work. Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
In preparation for Tuesday's announcement, NUsports.com caught up with several former Wildcats winners and asked what it meant to them to be part of this exclusive group of Big Ten Conference student-athletes. Today we catch up with 2007 Medal Of Honor recipient Alexis Prousis, NCAA doubles national champion (alongside Cristelle Grier, 2006), becoming only the second women’s tennis national championship doubles team in NU and Big Ten history.
Name: Alexis Prousis
Graduation year: 2007
College major: Communication Studies
Current location: Chicago, IL
Current occupation: Graduate student at Medill
In three paragraphs or less, tell us what you’ve been up to since you left Evanston:
After I graduated in 2007, I played professional tennis on the WTA tour for four years, reaching a career high of 283 in singles and 280 in doubles. I retired due to injury in 2011 and worked in commercial real estate from 2011 until I started at Medill in the summer of 2013. Since I retired, I am still involved in the tennis world coaching local junior players on the weekends and giving some lessons. I am also an executive board member for the N Club.
What was your personal athletic highlight during your time at Northwestern?
Winning four Big Ten Team titles and winning the 2006 NCAA Doubles Championship with Cristelle Grier at Stanford.
What is your favorite Northwestern sports memory as a spectator (either while you were in school or since)?
This past year, watching the Women's tennis team battle against Michigan in the Big Ten Finals to win 4-3. The atmosphere was electric, and I was so proud of the girls and Northwestern.
What does the Big Ten Medal Of Honor mean to you?
The hard work I put in on the tennis court and in the classroom are represented through the Big Ten Medal of Honor I was awarded. I was honored to win such an award my senior year, and I knew I couldn't have gotten it without the tennis team, my coaches, the athletic department, and my professors.
What is your favorite non-sports memory of your time at Northwestern?
There are too many. It would have to be the close friends I made during my four years at Northwestern.
Is there a person you met at Northwestern (teacher, coach, roommate, etc.) that had a sizable effect on you as a person?
Leigh and Henry Bienen. They have become my mentors through the years and are two people I can count on for advice. I was so grateful to have met them at Northwestern since Leigh and Henry are such huge tennis fans.
In your opinion, what makes Northwestern University special?
Northwestern has it all: academics, athletics, a great college town, Chicago, a beautiful campus, and the lake.
When was the last time you were on campus?
Yesterday, for class.
How much purple is in your closet?
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