Wagner College student athletes won the Northeast Conference’s Institutional Academic Award this year for the third time, posting a collective 3.305 GPA in 19 sponsored sports. The Seahawks edged out 2011-2012 winner Robert Morris (3.271), Fairleigh Dickinson (3.266) and Saint Francis U (3.235) for the top spot. Overall, the NEC’s 4,800+ student athletes averaged a record-high 3.176 GPA for the 2012-13 academic year.
“This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of our student athletes in the classroom, and I commend them for their academic accomplishments,” said Wagner College Athletic Director Walt Hameline. “At Wagner College, we have long taken tremendous pride in academic success. We recognize that this can only be achieved through teamwork, and we are humbled to have been honored for the third time in this award’s 7-year history.
“I thank our president, Dr. Richard Guarasci, for his tireless support of Wagner athletics, and I recognize our faculty for motivating our students through their teaching and mentoring. Our academic support department is deserving of high praise, as are the many coaches and staff members who play a vital role in the academic lives of our student athletes throughout the year. Finally, I’d like to salute the parents of our many Seahawk athletes for laying a foundation for their academic success and instilling in them a sense of pride and a work ethic with respect to academics.”
The Institutional Academic Award is presented annually to the NEC member who attains the highest overall institutional grade-point average among student athletes competing in sports sponsored by the NCAA Division I conference.
Wagner not only improved on last year’s 3.268 GPA, but this year’s 3.305 GPA was the highest average posted since the award was first established during the 2006-07 academic year. The Seahawks had 17 of their 19 teams record a GPA in excess of 3.0, led by the women's golf team with a program-best 3.577. Another 14 Wagner teams posted at least a 3.20 GPA for the year.
“Congratulations to the Wagner College student athletes for their tremendous accomplishments in the classroom this year,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “Such an achievement illustrates the dedication and commitment that President Guarasci, Athletic Director Walt Hameline and the Wagner coaches have to the academic development of their student athletes."