April 12, 2013
Columbia, Mo. - Redshirt freshman golfer Michelle Butler has been named a recipient of the 2013 Wilma Rudolph Award from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics.
The N4A Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award is intended to honor student athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.
Butler has not only overcome her own personal challenges, but she has worked to help her mother through the challenges of Multiple Sclerosis. Upon her arrival at Mizzou, Butler suffered a wrist fracture that kept her out of the fall golf season. Unfortunately that winter she was also diagnosed with mononucleosis which resulted in an atypical migraine that caused Butler to be temporarily paralyzed on the left side of her body. She worked hard to recover from her own sickness only to find herself dealing with another struggle.
Butler's mother was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago, but the conditioned worsened in recent years. Last May Butler took over the responsibility of Power of Attorney over her mother. While studying biochemistry, playing collegiate golf and living a thousand miles away from home, Butler also manages her mother's health care and her family's finances.
This past year, Butler has competed in all 10 of the Tigers' golf tournaments and she has earned four top-30 finishes. Butler started the year off on a high note placing third at the Chip-N Club Invitational this fall. She also earned a season-low 71 in the third round of the competition. She continued her success throughout the season, matching her low round score twice this spring at the Mountain View Collegiate.
The Dunedin, Fla., native is currently majoring in Biochemistry at Mizzou. She will be honored on June 8 in Jacksonville, Fla., at the National N4A Convention.