Academic excellence leads Saint Martin's student-athletes to national, conference awards

Wednesday September 3, 2003

Lacey, Wash. - The outstanding academic accomplishments of Saint Martin’s College student-athletes are being honored today with national and conference awards.

The College is receiving a $20,000 USA Today-NCAA Academic Achievement Award from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The award recognizes Saint Martin’s for having the greatest percentage of student-athletes graduating over its previous graduation rate. The rate of graduation among Saint Martin’s athletes increased by 53 percent between 1995 and 1996, the highest jump in NCAA Division II as well as among all NCAA institutions nationwide.

The USA Today-NCAA award is based on the latest data from the NCAA. The data measures the rate of graduation of student athletes over a six-year period. Saint Martin’s also placed in a second award category, coming in seventh in Division II for a graduation rate above that of the rest of the student body. That rate was 32 percent higher.

The college also received the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s 2002-03 Academic All-Sports Championship Award. The award, accompanied by a traveling trophy, honors the college or university with the highest all-sports cumulative gpa among the conference’s members. It was presented by conference Commissioner Richard Hannan to Saint Martin’s at the college’s Student-Athlete Orientation.

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference award is based on the overall grade point average among the college’s sports teams. The conference is composed of 10 colleges and universities from Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Idaho.

Four Saint Martin’s teams won top honors for their sport. Top teams, with their cumulative grade point average, were:

  • Men’s baseball, 3.05 gpa
  • Women’s volleyball, 3.37 gpa
  • Women’s basketball, 3.44 gpa
  • Women’s softball, 3.43 gpa

The Saints ranked second in men’s track and field and women’s cross-country, third in men’s cross-country and fourth in women’s cross-country.

“These awards reflect the efforts of our student-athletes and the support given to them by the college’s faculty and staff,” said college President David R. Spangler, Ph.D. “The college strives to provide an exceptional, holistic education for its students, and our student-athletes have clearly made the most of this opportunity.”

Spangler said academic excellence in recent years has become a hallmark of Saint Martin’s. This marks the second year as conference academic champions for two sports, baseball and women’s basketball. Women’s cross-country missed its seventh consecutive academic championship in 2002-03 by one-100th of a point.

Saint Martin’s is an independent, Roman Catholic coeducational college founded by the Benedictine Order. About 1,000 students are enrolled on its main campus and about 600 more in programs at the college’s extension campuses at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base and Olympic College. During the 2002-03 academic year, some 130 Saint Martin’s student-athletes competed in NCAA Division II sports. The college fields teams in men’s baseball, women’s volleyball and softball, and men’s and women’s cross-country, track and field, basketball and golf.

For more information:

Mark McGreevy
Sports Information Director

Deanna Partlow
Senior editor; media relations coordinator
360-438-4541 or