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For the second year in a row, Carolina Athletics will honor pioneering former student-athletes with the Tar Heel Trailblazers award. This year’s honorees are Karen Stevenson and Charles Waddell.

Stevenson, who competed in track and field at UNC, was the first African-American female to earn a Morehead Scholarship at Carolina. She went on to become the first woman from UNC and the first black woman in the nation to earn a Rhodes Scholarship, in 1979.

Waddell was a three-sport letterwinner for the Tar Heels, competing in football, basketball and track. He received the Patterson Medal, Carolina’s highest athletic award, in 1975 and went on to earn an MBA from UNC.

The award recognizes individuals who paved the way for success in all aspects of the student-athlete experience. The Trailblazers will be honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game on Feb. 21 and at a reception afterward.

Each February, in honor of Black History Month, Carolina Athletics recognizes pioneering African-American student-athletes. Last year, in the inaugural year of the program, honorees were Courtney Bumpers, Robyn Hadley, Ricky Lanier and Charles Scott.

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Published January 23, 2015