MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan University has been awarded the inaugural Mid-American Conference Cartwright Award for the athletic department’s overall excellence during the 2008-09 academic year.
The Cartwright Award is the top institutional award, presented annually to the MAC university that most completely demonstrates citizenship, and academic and athletic success.
“Everyone associated with the MAC is proud of the many student-athletes that compete in all of our universities and each of our 23 championship events,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the MAC. “Central Michigan University continues to excel in each of the areas of academics, athletics and citizenship with the Mount Pleasant community. Michigan should be very proud of CMU and its student-athletes who have earned this prestigious and elite award.”
A committee of presidential-appointed representatives from the 12 MAC institutions determines the recipient of the Cartwright Award.
“CMU is very proud to receive this award recognizing the hard work, dedication and character of our student athletes,” said Kathleen Wilbur, CMU’s interim president. “This accomplishment represents well the spirit and engagement of the entire CMU student body. Being chosen by our peers makes this award even more meaningful.”
Academically, the CMU soccer team posted the nation’s highest grade point average of 3.70 for the fourth consecutive year while the field hockey team’s GPA ranked fifth nationally. The department earned its highest overall student-athlete GPA of 3.12 with 11 teams maintaining a 3.00 or better average. Approximately 52 percent of CMU student-athletes carried above a 3.00 GPA, of which more than 100 maintained a 3.50 GPA or better.
The Chippewas had a total of 26 first-team all-conference performers last year. The program tied for second place in the men’s all-sports standings and finished third in the women’s standings. A wide variety of educational and leadership ventures for student-athletes were sponsored by the department, while many community service efforts were led by individual teams, including reading at schools, working with the elderly, visiting hospitals, serving meals, and raising money for the awareness of eating disorders.
“This honor clearly illustrates we are doing things right in the classroom, during competition and in the community,” said CMU Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “Our student-athletes, coaches and administrators deserve a lot of credit for not only committing to our championship culture but putting it to work on a daily basis.”
The Cartwright Award is named after Dr. Carol A. Cartwright, current President of Bowling Green State University and former President of Kent State University. Cartwright has held prominent leadership roles on higher education’s most influential national organizations, such as the NCAA Board of Directors, and has significantly impacted the league’s national prominence.