For the third straight year, and in record-setting fashion, the Sacred Heart University Department of Athletics has captured the Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award. The Pioneers' NEC programs combined for a 3.381 GPA during the 2016-17 academic year.
"The announcement of our student-athletes posting a record GPA to earn this honor for a third consecutive year is a perfect ending to a record-setting year," said SHU Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine. "They continue to move the bar higher in the classroom, in the community and in their athletic pursuits."
SHU broke its own conference record set last season of a 3.239 GPA with its 3.381 this academic year. The Pioneers had 30 programs post a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the spring semester, after 29 accomplished the feat during the fall semester. All told, SHU student-athletes combined for a 3.35 GPA during the year, with 80 percent earning a 3.0 or better GPA during one or both semesters. The Pioneers had 471 student-athletes earn conference All-Academic honors this year as well.
"It is my honor to crown Sacred Heart as the NEC Institutional Academic Award winner," said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. "To set a new conference standard with a 3.381 overall GPA is truly a remarkable achievement and indicative of the culture that has been built at SHU. Likewise, it's impressive to see NEC student-athletes raise the bar and reach new heights in the classroom with a record-setting 3.239 GPA. To be dedicated to your craft, engaged in the community and successful in the classroom is a testament to the diligent work put in by those student-athletes, and the year-round support they receive from coaches and administrators."
The Pioneers also captured a league-best eight Team GPA awards, presented to the conference team in each sport that combines for the highest GPA during the year. SHU posted the top GPA in the following sports: Baseball (3.237), Men's Basketball (2.918), Football (3.097), Men's Indoor Track & Field (3.190), Men's Lacrosse (3.253), Women's Lacrosse (3.512), Men's Outdoor Track & Field (3.190) and Softball (3.604).
"My sincere congratulations to our SHU student-athletes on earning a third consecutive NEC Institutional Academic Award," said SHU President Dr. John Petillo. "We are quite proud of the success these young men and women are having in the classroom, in the community and in the athletic venue."
The Institutional Academic Award completes the trifecta of conference honors for the Pioneers. SHU captured the Brenda Weare Commissioner's Cup and the NEC Building Communities Award earlier this month. It marks the second year in a row that SHU has won all three awards, having been the first school in conference history to complete the feat in the 2015-16 academic year.