The award, presented by the Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund of the WVU Alumni Association, is named for Louis D. Meisel, a member of the 1928 football team, and recognizes the graduating member of the football team who has maintained the highest GPA.
Gonzales, a native of Tampa, Fla., earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 2007 and will receive a master's degree in special education during the 140th Commencement ceremonies May 15-17.
"Tito Gonzales has been a wonderful role model both on and off the field," said Stephen L. Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association. "He has excelled academically, competed in football and still maintained a strong commitment to his community. He embodies the definition of a true Mountaineer, and we are pleased to be able to recognize his accomplishments with the Louis Meisel Award."
Gonzales, a two-year starter on the team, maintained a 3.75 GPA and has received numerous academic and athletic honors, including the Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll and Big East Academic All-Star. He was named one of the team's permanent captains and was recognized by the Mountaineer coaching staff with the Ideal Mountain Man award.
In recognition of his service to the community, Gonzales also was named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works team.
Gonzales will be presented with the award during the 2009 Alumni Luncheon and Vandalia ceremony May 16 at the new Erickson Alumni Center. He will receive a check for $500 and a plaque recognizing his accomplishments.