LEWISBURG, Pa. – Recent Bucknell graduate Meghan Kovac, a four-year standout on the Bison softball team, is the recipient of the Patriot League Outstanding Leadership and Character Award, as announced by the conference office on Wednesday.

Kovac’s leadership was evident across multiple Bucknell organizations, as well as in the Lewisburg community. On the field, she was a team captain while putting together one of the most prolific careers in program history. First-year Bison head coach Joey Lye turned to the senior leader to help guide and bring the team together during the transition to a new coaching staff and was ecstatic with the results.

“Her passion for Bucknell and for Bucknell Athletics comes through in every single thing that she does,” Lye said. “She was a great person to have on our team because of that. She kept everything light while also working hard to be a great leader for the team.”

With Kovac’s help, Bucknell returned to the Patriot League Tournament after a one-year hiatus after finishing second in the regular season standings. The senior earned First Team All-Patriot League recognition, the third all-conference award of her career, while setting a program record with 13 home runs.

For her career, Kovac graduated as the program’s all-time leader in home runs (25), doubles (52), and RBIs (148), and is second in hits (206), third in games played (196), and 10th in batting average (.336). At the school’s Senior Awards Banquet, she was the recipient of the John F. Zeller Award, presented to a student-athlete for outstanding contributions to Bison Athletics, while exemplifying the best of Bucknell in the manner that John F. Zeller did in his 68 years of service to the University.

Despite her already busy schedule, Kovac was lauded by all in the athletic department for her work as the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Her work with the organization impressed Terrie Grieb, the current advisor of the committee, a Bucknell Hall-of-Famer, and the school’s first ever softball coach beginning in 1978.

“Meghan had the ability to guide her peers (team & SAAC) with passion and honesty, plus showing others how to become invested,” Grieb said. “Her commitment elevated our SAAC program to new heights.”

Most notable from Kovac’s work with SAAC was her effort to get graduating student-athletes sashes to wear at commencement.

In the community, Meghan is an active volunteer and leader for Mostly Mutts, which is a no-kill animal shelter that houses over 100 animals in the local community.  She spearheaded a $500 fundraising drive for Mostly Mutts, as well as working with SAAC to bring volunteers to the shelter.  Kovac also led "The Little Things Project" for the Bucknell Athletics Department, collecting and dropping off toiletries from student-athletes through their travels to give back to the local community.  "Heel the Sole" and "One Shirt, One Body" has also come to fruition at Bucknell through Kovac’s vision, leadership and work with SAAC at the Patriot League and NCAA level. She also organized her team to volunteer at Elmcroft - a senior assisted living community and the local food bank.

“Meghan has the incredible ability to connect athletics with the world and make it better,” Bucknell Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator Maisha Kelly said. “Her leadership is one that is felt not just in our department, but across campus and the community.”

Fittingly, Kovac’s post-graduation plans will continue the path she started at Bucknell. She will attend Northeastern University, where she will work toward a master’s degree in sports leadership while serving as a graduate assistant in the school’s athletic department.