Dominican wins PacWest's Academic Achievement Award

Dominican University of California capped its first season in NCAA Division II competition by being named the top school in the classroom in the Pacific West Conference.

In their inaugural season as a member of the PacWest, Penguins student-athletes compiled an average 3.21 grade point average, highest among the nine conference schools, to win the PacWest Academic Achievement Award.

“We want to congratulate our student-athletes -- and the many people who support and help them -- for their collective efforts in this academic achievement,” said Dominican President Joseph R. Fink.  “Our student-athletes are embracing the values of this institution and their success will be measured by their performance on the field and in the classroom. This is a proud accomplishment for Dominican in its transition into NCAA Div. II and PacWest Conference athletic competition.”

The announcement was made from  the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention in Anaheim.

“One of my goals here was to create a positive environment for academic and athletic experiences and strike a competitive balance between the two,” said Terry Tumey, who was hired as Dominican’s athletics director in April of 2009. “This award is reflective of the dedication our student-athletes display each day, the support of our Chief Academic Officer Dr. Luis Calingo, the stewardship of our Faculty Athletic  Rep, Dr. Christropher Leeds, and the behind-the-scenes work of our faculty and coaches. They should all be commended and recognized for those efforts. They define what Dominican is about.”

The PacWest Academic Achievement Award is the only team championship earned in the classroom. Dominican’s GPA was the highest average of the nine current programs in the league and edged Grand Canyon University by .024. The Antelope athletic program produced a GPA average of 3.186.

“Dominican had a phenomenal year in the classroom and should be applauded for its outstanding effort, especially in its first year of conference membership,” said PacWest Commissioner Bob Hogue. “And, the conference student-athletes set a record with five of the nine PacWest athletic programs boasting a GPA of at least 3.0.”

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 2009-10 academic year.  The overall conference grade point average was a stellar 3.036.

 In addition to Dominican and Grand Canyon finishing one-two this season, last year’s champion BYU-Hawaii placed third with a 3.126 GPA, while the 2006 top squad Notre Dame de Namur took fourth with a 3.084 GPA. Chaminade rounded out the five programs with a 3.00 GPA by taking fifth with a 3.006.

 “That academic excellence is just another historic achievement in an historic year for the PacWest,” Hogue said.