Tom McElroy Memorial Scholarship
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About the Scholarship
Tom came to Boston College from BC High, where he was an All-Conference midfielder. In the winter of his freshman year Tom joined the indoor soccer program. The culmination of the season was the prestigious indoor soccer tournament at UConn, an event that attracted some 30 teams. BC had no goalkeeper, but Tom volunteered, leading the Eagles to a surprising fourth place finish, and earning all-tournament honors in the process. Tom's collegiate soccer career had begun, and by his senior year he was considered a definite professional prospect.
In January of his senior year, Tom was diagnosed with cancer. He continued his studies while receiving chemotherapy and radiation, earning his degree in 1980. Since Tom had played only three years of varsity soccer, he entered graduate school and elected to play another year. Tom's final appearance in goal was a 3-1 ECAC play-off victory over Bridgeport, the Eagles' first soccer championship. At the close of his career, Tom had set Boston College goaltender records for most games played, most shutouts in a season and career, and lowest goals against average in a career. Tom died on July 17, 1981, after an 18 month battle against this disease. He was 22 years old.
The McElroy family established the Tom McElroy Memorial Scholarship on November 16, 1983, with an initial balance of $3,095, representing contributions to Boston College in Tom's memory. In 2005, it became the first athletic memorial scholarship at BC to exceed $1m, and continues to be the number one athletic memorial scholarship. From inception through the end of the 2008-2009 academic year, 92 student-athletes received aid totaling $767,053. Mike Lawless, from East Aurora, NY, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a Physics major, is the 2009 soccer player who best demonstrates the qualities and attributes we remember so well in Tom. All recipients, including Mike, exhibit Tom's enthusiasm for soccer and dedication to excellence.