Central Michigan Named Winner of Inaugural Cartwright Award

Updated 11/11/2009

Mid-American Conference Presents Cartwright Award To Central Michigan

Inaugural Cartwright Award presented to Central Michigan recognizing its program excellence in academic, athletic and citizenship.

Cleveland, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today the presentation of the inaugural Cartwright Award to Central Michigan University for its program excellence in academic, athletic and citizenship during the 2008-09 school year.

"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. "MAC member institutions value excellence in the classroom, on the field of competition and in society. I commend Central Michigan University for their 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.

"Central Michigan is very proud to receive this award recognizing the hard work, dedication and character of our student athletes," said Kathleen Wilbur, Central Michigan University interim president. "This accomplishment represents well the spirit and engagement of the entire Central Michigan student body. Being chosen by our peers makes this award even more meaningful."

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. Following her retirement, Dr. Cartwright served as President of Bowling Green State University on an interim basis beginning in July of 2008, before being named President earlier this year. 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.

"This honor clearly illustrates we are doing things right in the classroom, during competition and in the community," said Central Michigan 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."

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

Central Michigan Academic Summary (2008-09):
-The overall cumulative GPA for all student-athletes was 3.12, which is the highest in the program's history.
-Eleven of CMU's 14 sports maintain a 3.00 or better cumulative GPA.
-Approximately 52% of CMU student-athletes carry above a 3.00 GPA, of which over 100 student-athletes maintain a 3.50 GPA or better.
-CMU's soccer team posted the nation's highest GPA (3.70) for the fourth consecutive year.
-CMU's field hockey team's GPA ranked fifth in the country.
-Seven CMU student-athletes were recognized by ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American program, including baseball's Dan Taylor with first-team All-District honors.
-Forty CMU student-athletes were named to the Academic All-MAC first team in 2008-09.
-Eight of CMU's programs improved their APR scores from the previous year, and the football program's eight-point increase was the largest jump of any of the CMU programs.
-Senior football captain, Brian Brunner, became the inaugural male winner of the NCAA Jim McKay Post-Graduate Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship in recognition for outstanding academic achievement and potential to make a major contribution in the sports communication industry.

Central Michigan Athletic Summary (2008-09):
-Football team finished second in the MAC West and went to the Motor City Bowl for the third straight year, a first in school history.
-Field hockey's Samantha Sandham became just the second player to be named MAC Player of the Year, as she ended her career as the school's all-time leader in assists (34), second in points (110) and fourth in goals (38).
-Women's soccer posted its highest regular season MAC finish since 1999, with a second-place finish (6-2-3).
-Volleyball posted is third straight winning season (19-11) for the first time since the 1992-94 campaigns.
-Women's basketball (18-14) posted its highest win total since the 1990-91 season and its first winning MAC record (9-7) since the 1992-93 campaign.
-Men's basketball finished in a three-way tie atop the MAC West Division standings, claiming its first share of a division title since 2002-03.
-Gymnast Katie Simon won the vault, uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around at the MAC Championships, leading CMU to a second-place finish with a score of 194.375.
-Wrestling won its eighth straight MAC Championship title, the longest winning streak in MAC history. The team produced four MAC Champions and finished in tenth place at the NCAA Championships.
-Thrower Greg Pilling became track and field's 28th All-American with an eighth-place finish in the discus at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Central Michigan Citizenship Summary (2008-09):
-Fall of 2008 marked the first year of collaboration between athletics and the campus First-Year Experience (FYE) program, as student-athletes enrolled in courses presenting transitional skills for college success.
-The Athletics Director Leadership Development Program was implemented last spring and was designed to further instill the concepts of character development, social responsibility, citizenship and leadership from CMU's student-athletes.
-Last March, the CMU Student Athlete Advisory Committee launched the first ever Chippewa Connections Conference (C3), a mini-convention designed to promote career awareness and preparation as student-athlete alumni presented to current student-athletes on how to prepare to enter the workforce.
-In October of 2008, organized the annual Red Cross Food Drive as over 250 athletes collected over 4,500 food items for the Food Pantry of Isabella County.
-Organized a holiday clothing drive and adopted a family for Christmas.
-Last April, the student-athletes competed in Jock Rock, an annual charity event which raised over $1,500 for the Isabella County Soup Kitchen.
-Many student-athletes participated in the Shepherd Teen Summit, a local middle school effort to address many issues, problems and concerns young adults deal with on a daily basis, and spoke on panels on leadership, goal setting, teamwork, healthy choices, staying in school and overcoming adversity.
-Many community service efforts were led by individual teams, including reading at schools, working with the elderly, hospital visits, serving meals and organizing walk-a-thon to raise money for eating disorder awareness.