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Courtesy: WMU

MAC Presents Cartwright Award To Western Michigan

Courtesy: Mid-American Conference
Release: 10/07/2011
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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today the presentation of the Cartwright Award to Western Michigan University for its program excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship during the 2010-11 school year.  The Cartwright Award will be presented to Western Michigan this Saturday, Oct. 8 during the Broncos home football contest against Bowling Green at Waldo Stadium.

"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 sports," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the MAC.  "MAC member institutions value excellence in the classroom, on the field of competition and in society.  I commend Western Michigan University for this recognition by its peers.  This is indeed a high honor."

The Cartwright Award is an institutional award presented annually to one university in the MAC.  A committee with representation from all 12 institutions selected the Cartwright Award winner from nominations submitted based upon the criteria of excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship.

"I am very proud of our athletes, coaches, and administrators for their ongoing commitment to excellence in the classroom, on the playing field, and through service to the community," said Western Michigan President Dr. John M. Dunn. "This award is well deserved and consistent with Western Michigan University's tradition of leading by example."

The Cartwright Award is named in honor of Dr. Carol A. Cartwright, one of the most highly respected voices in higher education.  Dr. Cartwright served as the President of Kent State University from 1991-2006 and President of Bowling Green from 2008-2011.  Dr. Cartwright previously was the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of California at Davis and dean for undergraduate programs and vice provost at The Pennsylvania State University.  She has served on the NCAA Board of Directors and is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

"Western Michigan Athletics is honored to be receiving the Mid-American Conference Cartwright Award for the 2010-11 academic year.  This award is presented to the MAC Institution that is about excellence in athletics, academics and in service in our great community," said Western Michigan Director of Athletics, Kathy Beauregard.

"The 2010-2011 year was one of excellence with Western Michigan winning the Jacoby Trophy and finishing runner up in the Reese Trophy.  Congratulations must be extended to our entire Bronco family, coaches, staff, student-athletes and leadership from President Dunn.  It is another great day to celebrate being a Bronco. We would like to thank the MAC Cartwright Committee for recognizing Western Michigan with this honor," said Beauregard.

Below is a brief summary of the accomplishments by Western Michigan University in each of the three areas of academic, athletic and citizenship excellence:

Western Michigan Academic Summary (2010-11):

-Western Michigan boasted its ninth consecutive semester where the composite grade point average among all student-athletes exceeded 3.00.

-The Broncos boasted 204 student-athletes with a 3.00 GPA or better, with 105 carrying a 3.50 or higher GPA.  Also, there are 21 student-athletes with a GPA over 3.90 and seven currently carry a perfect 4.00 cumulative GPA.

-All 16 Western Michigan sports programs have a four-year APR (Academic Progress Rate) average in excess of 950, with men's basketball and women's tennis earning recognition from the NCAA for ranking in the top 10 percent among their respective counterparts across the nation.

-Western Michigan's men's basketball, women's tennis and gymnastics programs led the MAC in APR scores, while tennis also boasted five ITA Academic All-American selections.

-The Broncos raised the number of Academic All-Americans to 58 with Phil Swanson (football) and Allyson Doyle (volleyball) earning second team and first team, respectively.  Swanson became only the second football student-athlete to earn Academic All-America twice in a career at Western Michigan.

-According to the latest GSR (Graduation Success Rate) released by the NCAA, Western Michigan boasts a GSR of 79, while the FGR (Federal Graduation Rate) is 66.  All 16 Broncos programs have a GSR higher than or equal to the FGR

Western Michigan Athletic Summary (2010-11):

-Western Michigan captured the 2010-11 Jacoby Trophy as the most successful women's athletic program in the MAC.  Western Michigan also finished second in the Reese Trophy (men's athletic program) voting, marking the first time the Broncos have ever finished first and second in pursuit of both trophies.

-The Broncos boasted 23 All-MAC selections, including 13 first team All-MAC selections.  Western Michigan also had 21 Academic All-MAC honorees as well.

-Western Michigan had the MAC Setter of the Year in volleyball (Sam Viox), MAC Freshman of the Year in women's tennis (Nini Sujashvili), MAC Coach of the Year in softball (Kathy Leitke) and boasted MAC Players of the Year in softball (Gracie Barstad), women's soccer (Stephanie Skowneski) and men's tennis (Michael Calderone).

-Five Western Michigan athletic teams were represented in NCAA Tournament competition in 2010-11.

-The Western Michigan softball team captured both the MAC regular season and tournament title, earning an NCAA bid for the first time since 2003.

-Western Michigan men's tennis captured its 22nd regular season MAC title.

-Women's golf had an individual reach the NCAA Regionals for the first time in program history, while gymnastics sent three to the NCAAs and outdoor track sent one individual.

-Women's basketball boasted three student-athletes to reach 1,000 career points, while baseball captured its first MAC Tournament game win since 1998.

-Football finished the season with three consecutive wins over MAC opponents and broke the season record for touchdowns (51).

-Indoor track finished second at the MAC Championships, while volleyball featured the MAC Setter of the Year (Sam Viox) and Academic All-American (Allyson Doyle).

-Men's basketball won its sixth MAC West title and hosted a pair of postseason games as part of the CIT, going 1-1 with a win over Tennessee Tech.

-Western Michigan's hockey team fought its way all the way to the CCHA title game, defeating Michigan in the semifinal at Joe Louis Arena and earned its first berth in the NCAA tournament since 1995-96.

- Both the men's and women's soccer teams advanced to the MAC Championship game.

Western Michigan Citizenship Summary (2010-11):

-Broncos teams were very busy during the 2010-11 year in supporting the Kalamazoo community.  The volleyball team hosted the Girl Scouts Urban Adventure Day Camp at University Arena last summer, while the softball team held a community home run derby in support of associate head coach Jamie Spitale's nephew who is battling cancer.

-The Western Michigan football team continues to be an example of community service, going over the 6,000 mark in hours devoted this past fall.

-Western Michigan's hockey team had a special story related to the Schripsema family.  After the Schripsema's youngest son, Gideon, was diagnosed with leukemia, the Western Michigan hockey team essentially adopted the family.  The family traveled to every game, including the team's run to the NCAA Tournament.  This journey and what the Western Michigan hockey team meant to this family were captured in a video on YouTube:

-The story of this family caught attention nationally and that is when the rest of the Bronco student-athletes joined in.  A blood drive was organized and student-athletes from multiple sports gave their time, and blood, to help Gideon and others in his situation.

Previous Cartwright Award Winners:

2008-09           Central Michigan

2009-10           Kent State