Baylor Equestrian Alum Earns National Distinguished Alumni Honors

Posted at 8:50 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 21:50:35-04

Former Baylor equestrian hunt seat rider Shelby White, daughter of current head coach Ellen White, was one of eight former collegiate riders to earn the 2017 NCEA Distinguished Alumni Award, announced Wednesday by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association.

These awards are presented to women who, after the completion of their undergraduate degree at an NCEA institution, have made significant contributions in a professional field.

Distinguished Alumni are recognized in eight categories including Business, Community Engagement, Education, Equine Industry (Rider/Trainer/Coach), Equine Industry (Medical/Business), Health Sciences/Services, Media & Communication, and Young Alumni.

Distinguished Alumni are separated from their institution for at least 6 years prior to nomination and are recognized as distinguished in the following areas: academic success, athletic success, outstanding service contributions, and post-graduate success.

Earning her honors in the Business category, White has elevated herself as one of the top appellate attorneys in the state, using her B.A. in Linguistics from Baylor in 2009 before going on to receive her J.D. from Baylor School of Law in 2012.

White was a four-year letter winner for Baylor as a member of the inaugural equestrian team, riding from 2005-2009 and earning numerous Big 12 and Baylor academic honors.

After finishing her undergraduate career, White continued to excel in her legal education, serving as the Articles Editor for the Baylor Law Review and graduating early.

While maintaining a successful career as an attorney, White has given her time to volunteer in clinics and working with Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, an organization that provides pro bono civil legal assistance to brave veterans and their families who otherwise cannot afford legal services.

“As a team member, she was really able to multi-task and do really well," said coach Ellen White. "She competed at every event, was at every practice, traveled everywhere, was an honor student, and was in a sorority. I feel like being a part of the team, being responsible to the teammates, to the horses, figuring out how to get along with everyone, working to a common goal - it so sets you up for your career. 

"It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that all of these equestrian girls are doing well in business or in any of the other fields, because everything we do as a sport prepares them for their next chapter. As a mom, it thrills me that she can be so successful at so many things. I don’t see an end for her. It’s so great that she stuck with it and made all of that happen. She made it through her time here on the team, made it through law school, now a young married woman, and still able to be successful. She seems to be a child that can make goals and achieve them.”

Each NCEA team had the opportunity to nominate one alumni in each category. The nominations were reviewed by a selection committee and shared with the NCEA Board of Directors. The 2017 Distinguished Alumni will be recognized at the Opening Ceremony of the NCEA National Championship event scheduled for Wednesday, April 12 at the Extraco Center in Waco, Texas.

In the second year of the annual award, Baylor joins Texas A&M as the only two schools in the country to have an honoree in both years the award has been distributed.