DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern's Raymond Shankland has been awarded the 2019 Lee Akin "Nothin' But Try" Scholarship which was announced over the weekend at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo.
Shankland, a freshman bull rider from Shawnee, becomes the first SE recipient of the award.
The "Nothin' But Try" Scholarship began in 2006 to honor Southwestern Oklahoma State graduate and NIRA member Shane Drury.
The scholarship has gone on to encompass award honoring Drury, Lee Akin, Levi Wisness, and Southeastern's own Betty Gayle Cooper-Ratliff.
Despite three of the four having passed away, with Akin being the lone living honoree, these awards were not established as memorial scholarships, but rather are aimed at honoring the way these individuals are living or have lived their lives.
Akin went to West Hills College before transferring to SWOSU where he earned a degree in biology. While there he was a four-time CNFR qualifier in bull riding and was the reserve champion in 1996 before going on to have a successful career in the PRCA and PBR. In 2007 he sustained a severe head trauma in a bull riding accident which continues to affect him. Today he uses his skills to inspire people on a daily basis.
The awards are handed out by a selection committee which includes Akin, as well as notables such as Ty Murray and Bob Tallman. It also includes members of Drury's family and a selection of others who have an understanding of the "Nothin' But Try" spirit.