The University of Hartford clinched its second-straight America East Academic Cup in 2012-13 after posting the highest grade-point average of any school in the 18-year history of the award, as announced by the league office. Compiling a 3.24 GPA in 2012-13, the Hawks brought home their third Academic Cup all-time.
The Hawks' winning GPA was six points higher than the next highest mark which belonged to New Hampshire (3.18 GPA). Binghamton University and University of Vermont tied for third (3.12 GPA), followed by University of Maine (3.11), Stony Brook University (3.08), Boston University (3.07), University at Albany (3.01) and UMBC (2.83).
“We are all so proud of our student-athletes who have proven once again that we do things the right way: we excel on the field or court and in the classroom,” said University of Hartford President Walter Harrison. “Here at Hartford, the term student-athlete has meaning.”
Last year, Hartford earned a 3.17 GPA, edging out the University of Vermont by one one-hundredth of a point to clinch its first Academic Cup since 1996-97. The Hawks surpassed last year's mark by seven one-hundredths to take home back-to-back Academic Cups for the first time in school history.
Harrison continued, “For our student-athletes to win the cup two years in a row against some of the finest universities in the Northeast in a conference that prizes both academics and competitive athletics speaks volumes about this University and its essential values. My congratulations go out to the athletes, coaches and athletic administrators who support and encourage them every day.
“I could not be more exited to hear that Hartford has won back-to-back Academic Cups,” said Alex Coury, assistant athletic director for academic support at the University of Hartford. “We are so proud of our Hartford Hawks and their hard work in the classrooms. Our coaches have done a tremendous job at recruiting all around, top-notch student-athletes who are standout athletes, citizens and scholars. Winning the Academic Cup in consecutive years is also a testament to our stellar academic staff, and I am so thankful for the work that Athletics Academic Advisor Arline Robbins and Athletics Tutors Judy Porter and Harriet Shedroff do for both our department and students.”
The Hawks set a record in the classroom in the Spring 2013 semester, posting a combined 3.23 GPA, edging the previous school mark of 3.22 set one year ago. This past spring, Hartford boasted 252 student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or better, with 150 of those student-athletes notching at least a 3.5 and 20 out of 358 student-athletes earning a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester.
“Congratulations to the University of Hartford, most notably its student-athletes, on this historic achievement,” said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “It is indicative of the hard work put in and the value placed on academics not only by Hartford, but by all nine of our institutions and student-athletes, who consistently excel academically year in and year out, which is a core pillar of this conference and what sets us apart from so many others.”
The University of Hartford, which has posted a combined GPA of 3.0 or higher in each of the last 15 semesters, saw an average of 70 percent of its student-athletes record a 3.0 in one or both semesters last year. In addition, 43 percent of Hawk student-athletes notched at least a 3.5 while five percent registered perfect 4.0 GPA's for the 2012-13 academic year. Fifteen of Hartford's 16 athletic programs earned a 3.00 GPA or higher over the last year and a league-high nine teams recorded the highest GPA of their America East peers. The Hawks' baseball (3.17), women's basketball (3.34), men's lacrosse (3.15), men's soccer (3.30), women's soccer (3.46), softball (3.47), men's indoor track and field (3.28), men's outdoor track and field (3.30) and volleyball (3.58) programs all led the conference in each respective sport for team GPA. The volleyball team's mark was the highest of any America East squad.
Three squads that won America East titles also had the highest GPA in their respective sport. Albany won the men's basketball and field hockey titles with respective 3.24 and 3.41 GPAs. Binghamton won the men's tennis crown, compiling a 3.45 GPA, the highest mark of any America East male team.
Other sport winners were: men's cross country, Maine (3.34); women's cross country, Maine and Vermont (3.51); women's lacrosse, Binghamton (3.19); men's swimming and diving, Binghamton and Boston University (3.02); women's swimming and diving, Boston University (3.28); women's tennis, Binghamton (3.54); women's indoor track & field (3.14); women's indoor track & field, Maine (3.41); and women's outdoor track & field, Maine (3.40).
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 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.