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HAMPTON UNIVERSITY'S BENSON AND UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA'S CULPEPPER NAMED 1991 TOYOTA LEADERS OF THE YEAR

 HAMPTON UNIVERSITY'S BENSON AND UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA'S CULPEPPER
 NAMED 1991 TOYOTA LEADERS OF THE YEAR
 NEW YORK, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Excellence in academics, athletics and community service have earned Tim Benson, wide receiver for Hampton University in Virginia, and Brad Culpepper, defensive tackle for the University of Florida, the 1991 Toyota Leader of the Year Award.
 Benson and Culpepper received the award today at the ceremony in New York City. Ron Rooney, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. corporate marketing manager, presented Benson and Culpepper with trophies and a $10,000 check for their respective universities' general scholarship fund. Keynote speaker, Bill Walsh, former head coach for the San Francisco 49ers, congratulated the winners, along with Black Entertainment Television (BET) and ESPN sportscasters Charlie Neal and Tim Brando.
 "The Toyota Leader of the Year Award recognizes college athletes who demonstrate leadership skills in every aspect of their life -- on the field, in the classroom and in the community," said Rooney at the presentation. "Tim and Brad are true leaders, and we're proud that they will represent Toyota as the 1991 Leaders of the Year."
 Now in its seventh year, the Leader of the Year Award represents the pinnacle of the Toyota Leadership Award scholarship program. The 1991 program ran throughout the college football season in conjunction with BET and ESPN. Weekly winners were chosen by their university's athletic department and faculty advisors. Benson and Culpepper were selected by a special NCAA athletic and academic panel from among the weekly i?nners.
 Benson, a native of Jefferson City, Mo., is the "Toyota/BET Leader of the Year." He is a sophomore majoring in biology/pre-med, maintains a 4.0 grade point average and has been named to Hampton University's Dean's List.
 Benson also is active in his community. He often speaks to local Boys Clubs about the importance of an education and talks with high school students about preparing for college. In addition, Benson is active in his church's Sunday school, youth choir, peer group and youth usher board programs.
 Culpepper, from Tallahassee, Fla., is the "Toyota/ESPN Leader of the Year." He was graduated from the University of Florida in August, and is now a graduate student majoring in sports administration. He maintains a 3.2 grade point average and has been named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll four times. Culpepper has been named a first team All-American by Football News and Kodak (selected by American Football Coaches Association).
 In addition to his schoolwork and football practice, Culpepper is student body vice president. He also is a member of the "Goodwill Gators," a community service group.
 Toyota presented weekly winners with a special award plaque and donated $1,000 to their school's general scholarship fund. Since the program's inception in 1985, Toyota has donated more than $470,000 to the general scholarship funds of universities nationwide.
 Past winners of the Toyota Leadership Award include Chicago Bears' Jim Harbaugh; Los Angeles Rams' Jim Everett; New York Giants' Pepper Johnson and Louis Tillman; Dallas Cowboys' Russell Maryland; New York Jets' Roger Duffy and Philadelphia Eagles' Antone Davis and Keith Jackson.
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: Christi Abe, 310-618-5297, Melinda Beckett, 310-618-4726, or Fred Hammond, 212-644-3424, all of Toyota Motor Sales/ CO: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. ST: Florida, Virginia IN: SU:


JT-SF -- NY072 -- 1607 12/11/91 16:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 11, 1991
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