Penguins win Academic Achievement Award

For the fourth straight year, Dominican University of California has captured the Pacific West Conference Academic Achievement Award.

The award was presented to Dominican President Mary B. Marcy by Penguins' athletics director Brandon Leimbach at a halftime ceremony during Dominican's men's basketball game in Conlan Center on February 13. At that time, four banners -- each representing a year Dominican won the PacWest's top academic honor -- were unveiled on the gymnasium's east wall.

In 2012-13, the Penguin student-athletes ratcheted their grade point average to 3.34 to give Dominican its fourth academic title in four years. In 2011-12, Dominican and Grand Canyon shared the PacWest Academic Achievement Award when each school produced a 3.26 GPA. Dominican also won the award in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

“Dominican Athletics' continued success in the classroom and on the playing fields reflects the University's mission to align academic excellence with the Dominican values,” President Marcy said. “We look forward to adding to this tradition.”

The 3.34 grade point average marks the second highest total since the PacWest Academic Achievement Award was instituted in 2007-08. That year, inaugural winner Notre Dame de Namur University posted a 3.36 GPA.

“What another tremendous year for our PacWest student-athletes in the classroom,” said Bob Hogue, commissioner of the Pacific West Conference. “Congratulations to the student-athletes at Dominican who have built an academic dynasty, and to all of the student-athletes around the PacWest for an outstanding academic year.”

The overall conference grade point average stood at 3.06 in 2012-13. The PacWest student-athletes smashed the league record for the number of schools boasting at least a 3.00 grade point average with 10. The previous record of six was set in 2010-11 and tied last year.

“As the new director of athletics at Dominican University of California, it is exciting to see the level of academic achievement put forth by our student-athletes,” Leimbach said. “The commitment of our student-athletes — as well as the coaches, faculty members and staff who support academics and athletics at our university — is amazing and I would especially like to recognize Dr. Christopher Leeds, our faculty athletics representative, who has created a tremendous relationship with our student-athletes as their primary academic mentor.”

The grade point average for each school is based upon how each student athlete performed in the classroom during the 2012-13 academic year.