Hawks Win America East Academic Cup
The University of Hartford edged out University of Vermont by one one-hundredth of a point to win the school's first America East Academic Cup since 1996-97, as announced at the league's annual awards dinner in Annapolis, Md. The Hawks, posting a combined grade point average of 3.16, earned their second Academic Cup all-time, snapping the Catamounts' seven-year grasp on the award.
The Hawks finished the 2011-12 academic year with a 3.16 GPA, while Vermont came in with a 3.15. University of New Hampshire finished closely behind with a 3.14. Binghamton University (3.11), University of Maine (3.04), Boston University (3.03), UMBC (3.00), Stony Brook (2.98) and Albany (2.93) round out the institutional averages.
“Our academic department and I could not be more thrilled to hear the news that Hartford has won the America East Academic Cup,” said Alex Morley, assistant athletic director for academic support at the University of Hartford. “Winning the Cup is always our goal for the coaches and student-athletes at the start of each year. We have excellent coaches who set high academic bars for their teams and we are so proud of how hard our student-athletes work in the classroom.”
“The America East Conference and its institutions continue to consistently perform at a high level in the classroom, which is a real strength across this league,” said Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “I would like to commend the University of Hartford, its student-athletes, faculty and staff on this year's Academic Cup as it is a true testament to the commitment of all of those groups to ensure their student-athletes are students first.”
The Hawks set a record in the classroom in the Spring 2012 semester, posting a combined 3.22 GPA, breaking the previous school mark of 3.18. The Hawks have posted a combined GPA of 3.0 or higher in each of the last 13 semesters. Hartford boasted 240 student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or better, with 135 of those student-athletes notching at least a 3.5 and 15 earning a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester.
Hartford student-athletes improved on their academic performance from a year ago when they tied for second place in the Academic Cup standings, matching New Hampshire with a 3.11 grade point average and falling just shy of Vermont's 3.17 GPA.
Fourteen of Hartford's 16 athletic programs earned a 3.0 GPA or higher over the last year and a league-high five teams recorded the highest GPA of their America East peers. The Hawks' baseball (3.28), men's lacrosse (3.07), softball (3.38), men's outdoor track and field (3.12) and volleyball (3.37) programs all led the conference in each respective sport for team GPA.
Other sport winners were: men's basketball, Albany (3.21); women's basketball, New Hampshire (3.25); men's cross country, Maine (3.29); field hockey, Vermont (3.27); women's lacrosse, UMBC (3.21); men's soccer, Binghamton (3.16); women's soccer, Maine (3.42); men's and women's swimming and diving, Boston U. (3.02, 3.24); women's tennis, Binghamton (3.19); men's indoor track & field (3.14); women's indoor track & field, Vermont (3.37); and women's outdoor track & field, Vermont and Stony Brook (3.33).
The Academic Cup, established by the America East Board of Directors in 1995, is presented to the institution whose student-athletes post the highest grade point averages during that academic year. In all, seven of America East's nine institutions compiled grade point averages over 3.0, while 72 percent of the league's teams (108 of 149), 10 more than in 2010-11, had GPAs of 3.0 or better. Furthermore, the league's 3,400-plus student-athletes compiled a 3.06 average during the 2011-12 season, just one one-hundredth off of last year's record high.
The overall institutional grade-point averages were calculated by dividing each student-athlete's quality points by the total credits completed for grade.