CUA Athletics Opens Nomination Period for Smathers Award

Written by Joe Clarke, Graduate Intern 

WASHINGTON – The Catholic University of America is proud to announce that the nomination process for the John E. Smathers Award is under way.  The winner of the award will be announced at the 2014 CUA Golf Classic on October 17, 2014, in conjunction with this year’s Cardinal Weekend. 

Captain Smathers was a former CUA student-athlete who majored in political science before earning his Juris Doctorate from CUA in 1984.  He was also a defensive back on the Cardinals football team.  Following graduation from Catholic’s Columbus School of Law, Smathers clerked for a Circuit Court Judge and was an Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County from 1985 until July of 1991.

Smathers then joined the U.S. Army where he participated in Iraqi Freedom in March of 2003, serving in Iraq until March of 2004.  One of the most decorated reservists who served in Iraq, Smathers was severely wounded in battle and after courageously fighting for his life, he passed away on February 4, 2006 at the age of 47.    

All current and former CUA student-athletes are eligible to receive the award and will be nominated by coaches, friends, and colleagues.  The candidates are based on their service to others whether in their community, university, organization, profession, or for their country.  The Smathers Award recognizes true servitude and the need to help others beyond ordinary means.

The 2013 Smathers Award went to Bob Talbot from the CUA class of 1959.  Talbot was a true two-sport star student-athlete in both basketball and baseball.  Talbot’s professional career at CUA involved coaching, becoming the Director of Admissions, and taking on the role of Director of Athletics.  For complete information about Bob and his significant contributions to the CUA community and the Yellow Ribbon Fund Inc., click here

The deadline for nominations for the 2014 Smathers Award is August 22, 2014.  If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Szal at 202-319-5286 or by email at