When Waverly Whiston was choosing where to go to college, she made the decision to move across the country from her hometown of San Diego, Calif., because she was impressed with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s strong combination of academics and athletics. Whiston, a senior majoring in accounting at the Haslam College of Business, has spent four years as a standout on the Lady Vols golf team while staying focused on her studies.
The need to balance her coursework with her busy golf schedule has helped Whiston hone her ability to set priorities and advocate for herself. She credits some of her success as a student-athlete to the support she has received from the accounting department and the UT athletics staff.
“I have always managed my time well, communicated with my professors and reached out whenever I have a question,” Whiston says. “Don’t get me wrong, there have been hard days, but having all of this support around me and a strong mindset has truly been the key to balancing all of it.”
Whiston’s honors include receiving the Wayne Basler Women’s Athletic Endowed Golf Scholarship and being named a three-time member of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association’s All-American Scholars Team, which has some of the most rigorous selection criteria in college athletics. Her sister, Nicole — a sophomore planning to double-major in accounting and finance at Haslam — was one of three other Lady Vol golfers selected for the 2020 WGCA team.
The Lady Vols golf team has seasons in both spring and fall, during which Whiston practices at least 20 hours per week with the team and additional hours on her own. A season typically consists of 24 competition days plus practice rounds and travel days. The post-season adds 10 or more days of competition and travel. During the off-season, the team practices at least eight hours per week.
“Waverly is one of the hardest working students I have come across during my time at UT,” said Rachel Flom, lecturer in the department of accounting and information management. “I cannot express how impressed I am with her ability to give her all to both her coursework and the golf team.”
Whiston’s work ethic and academic performance have secured her an internship with Deloitte LLP’s Atlanta audit practice. She will graduate in May 2021, after which she plans to enroll in Haslam’s master of accountancy program. Beyond that, she wants to keep her options open.
“I have so many possibilities after college, and it’s really hard to make a choice,” she says. “Right now, I am thinking about either playing professional golf or becoming a public accountant and seeing where life takes me from there.”
Stacy Estep, writer/publicist, firstname.lastname@example.org