For the second consecutive year, the student-athletes of Sacred Heart University captured the Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award. The Pioneers’ NEC teams combined for a league-record 3.331 GPA during the 2015-16 academic year.
The University becomes the first school since the award’s inception in 2006-07 to earn it in the same year as winning the NEC’s Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup, the highest honor for overall athletic excellence.
“I was proud when our student-athletes earned the Brenda Weare Commissioners Cup, and I am even more proud today,” said John J. Petillo, University president. “The announcement that our student-athletes have earned the NEC Institutional Academic Award is the crowning achievement of a banner year for SHU Athletics.”
In addition to the overall academic award for the athletics department, SHU earned two NEC Team GPA Awards. The women’s and men’s lacrosse teams earned the top GPA amongst conference foes with 3.520 and 3.270, respectively.
“Our student-athletes continue to prove that they are dedicated to being students first and foremost, and this award is a testament to their hard work,” said Bobby Valentine, executive director of athletics. “I continue to be impressed by what our Pioneer student-athletes are able to achieve in all areas and am honored to be associated with these fine young men and women.”
The women’s golf team, which finished second at the NEC Championship, led the Pioneers with a team GPA of 3.57. That headlined 19 programs that posted team GPA’s of 3.30 or better this year. On the men’s side, the tennis team garnered top GPA honors with a 3.48.
Three-quarters of SHU student-athletes posted semester GPAs of 3.0 or better during the year, totaling 1,187 over the two semesters. In addition, more than a third of the Pioneers were recognized on the University Dean’s List this year, and 54 student-athletes earned perfect 4.0 semester GPA’s this year.
Over the course of the year, 449 Pioneers were recognized on conference All-Academic Teams.
The Department of Athletics captured its sixth Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup this season and extended its record of Joan Martin Cups for Excellence in Women’s Athletics to nine. The Pioneers also compiled 8,391.5 hours of community service during the year to win the league’s Building Communities Award for the fifth time in six years.
For the second consecutive year, the women’s cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams completed the triple crown, winning all three championships. The bowling team won the NEC regular season and tournament crown in March, and the women’s basketball team won the NEC regular season crown as well.