Dominican wins PacWest Academic Achievement Award

For the third year in a row, Dominican University of California has been named the winner of the Pacific West Conference Academic Achievement Award, this time sharing the honor for the first time in PacWest history with Grand Canyon University.

Student-athletes at Dominican and Grand Canyon each produced a 3.26 grade point average the past academic year.PacWest

It is also the third consecutive year that Dominican student-athletes have improved their GPA. Last year, the Penguins compiled a 3.25 GPA, which was a full .11 higher than its nearest classroom competitor in the Pac West. In the 2009-10 academic year, Dominican’s inaugural season in the PacWest, Penguins’ student-athletes recorded a 3.21 GPA to win the PacWest academic award.

“Dominican sports programs nurture the best in our student-athletes:  integrating academic achievement with success on the field and court,” said Dominican President Mary Marcy. “We are proud to win the PacWest Academic Achievement Award for the third year in a row, a tradition that we hope to continue for many years to come.”

Dominican has won or shared the league’s academic achievement award since joining the PacWest as an NCAA Division II member institution in the fall of 2009.

“We are pleased and excited again to be recognized with this award, the third year in a row we have achieved this honor,” said former Dominican director of athletics Terry Tumey, now the AD at UC Davis.  “It is a compliment to the continued and consistent commitment of our student-athletes and the coaches, faculty members and staff who support them.”

The PacWest made the announcement on July 17 and is the first in a series of academic honors that will be unveiled during the month of July that will include the scholar athletes of the year in each sport, the overall men’s and women’s scholar athletes of the year, and the PacWest Academic All-Conference Team.

Last October, PacWest Commissioner Bob Hogue visited Dominican and personally presented the Academic Achievement Award to President Marcy.

“The student-athletes of Dominican and Grand Canyon had outstanding years in the classroom and should be commended for their tremendous effort in the classroom,” Hogue said.

Grand Canyon and Dominican put together their respective 3.26 grade point averages to claim the only PacWest team championship earned in the classroom. They were the highest averages among the 10 current institutions in the league and edged Brigham Young University Hawaii by .09.

The overall conference grade point average in the PacWest was a phenomenal 3.07 – up .05 from 2010-11. This also marks the second straight year that a half-dozen conference institutions boasted a GPA of at least 3.0, matching the record of six established last year.

The grade point average for each school is not based upon its cumulative average, but rather an average of how each student-athlete performed in the classroom during the 2011-12 academic year.

Notre Dame de Namur captured the inaugural PacWest Academic Achievement Award in 2007-08, while BYU-Hawaii won the honor in 2008-09. Dominican is the only institution to capture the award more than once.