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Hatters Claim Atlantic Sun Academic Trophy

Athletics logoStetson University’s student-athletes proved during the past year that they are excellent students in addition to being outstanding athletes, and their efforts in the classroom were rewarded by the Atlantic Sun Conference on Monday when the Hatters claimed their first All-Academic Trophy.

A total of 168 Stetson student-athletes, 73 percent,  were recognized by the A-Sun for their academic achievement. These student-athletes represent each of the 15 varsity sports that compete in the A-Sun. Football and men’s and women’s rowing do not compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“At Stetson University, we recruit not merely student-athletes, but scholar-athletes, and this year’s recognition certainly bears that out,” Wendy B. Libby, president of Stetson University, said. “I congratulate not only the students whose academic work enabled Stetson to receive this award for 2012-13, but also our fabulous faculty who supported, encouraged and challenged them throughout the year. Our athletes appreciate the rigor of a Stetson education and are challenged every day to move beyond success to significance!”

Of the 168 student-athletes recognized by the A-Sun, 68 were named to the Conference Scholar list, signifying at least sophomore standing academically and a cumulative 3.4 or better grade point average during the academic year.

There were 15 Hatters who were named to the Commissioner’s Scholar list, which includes student-athletes in their final year of eligibility, who received their degree during the academic year, and who earned a cumulative 3.6-3.799 GPA.

Another 10 Stetson student-athletes were named to the Presidents’ Scholar list, which follows the same criteria as the Commissioner’s list, except with a 3.8 cumulative GPA or better.

A total of 15 of the Hatters’ student-athletes were also singled out for posting a 4.0 GPA during the 2012-13 academic year.

“What a wonderful manifestation of Stetson’s commitment to engage every student in transformational learning in and out of the classroom,” Beth Paul, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. “I am proud of our scholar-athletes and the faculty and staff who challenge and inspire them to excellence!”

In addition to having athletes spread across all 15 eligible varsity sports, the list of student-athletes recognized by the Atlantic Sun crosses multiple geographical boundaries, providing a snapshot of the diversity of students being recruited to Stetson.

Overall, 74 of the 168 Stetson students recognized by the Atlantic Sun Conference hail from outside the state of Florida. The list of Hatters come from 26 other states in the United States as well as from 17 foreign countries. Stetson’s coaches venture far and wide, from Hawaii to Vermont and from Calgary in the north to Australia and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere and all across the European Union.

“When student-athletes choose to come to Stetson, they do so to receive a high quality education and compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics – to be challenged academically and athletically,” Mike Bitter, NCAA faculty-athletics representative for Stetson, said. “The individual academic achievements  of our student-athletes over the years have been numerous and impressive.

“Receipt of the 2012-13 A-Sun Academic Trophy recognizes the collective hard work that our student-athletes put forth in the classroom this past academic year and symbolizes the academic excellence we expect from them and that they have indeed achieved.”

The academic excellence of Stetson University not only serves to attract the top student-athletes, but also serves to attract the highest quality students overall. Stetson is receiving record-breaking attention from students looking for a college home, to the tune of more than 10,000 applications for less than 1,000 available spots in the freshman class which will for the third consecutive year be the largest in school history.

While interest is at an all-time high, it is coming from the very best students available. The freshman class for 2013 will bring with it better than a 3.8 grade point average from high school, the best for any freshman class in Stetson history.

Stetson’s student-athletes are just a sample of the overall excellence in the classroom at Stetson University. With an all-time record high 3.115 cumulative GPA during the 2012-13 academic year, it is the Hatters’ student-athletes who are setting the example for all Stetson students to follow. The overall cumulative GPA for all Stetson students at the end of the spring semester was 3.075.

“Stetson’s ability to fulfill our objective of recruiting highly talented athletes, who are also gifted students, is the direct result of dedicated coaches which are committed to our mission of recruiting the best and the brightest,” Stetson Director of Athletics Jeff Altier, said.

“I applaud the efforts of the young men and women who have embraced the challenge of competing in Stetson’s highly rigorous classrooms, while at the same time committing themselves to excel at the Division I level,” Altier said. “Maintaining a 3.0 grade point average while embracing the hours of practice, conditioning and competition is exemplary for any student, but to do so at Stetson University, and at a higher percentage than any other institution in the A-Sun, is significant.”