2011 Academic Awards presentation
April 13, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas -- Women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky made the observation of the night, looking out over the staged podium on Monday inside the Frank Erwin Center. The occasion was the 2011 Academic Awards Presentation, and Plonsky marveled at the turnout.
“This,” she said, “is a full house.”
The reality of that statement is overwhelming, considering the annual banquet is an invitation-only affair. Student-athletes must have earned a 3.0 GPA in the Spring or Fall 2010 semesters to earn a place setting, and 289 were on hand Monday.
“When you come to college, you come as a student-athlete. They put ‘student’ first because that’s what really prepares you for the future,” said Soccer’s Erica Campanelli, who was named the Big 12 Community Champion. “Academics is what prepares you for life. It makes me proud to see so many teammates and friends here.”
While the evening saw student-athletes from every sport honored for highest GPAs and community involvement, the occasion also allowed the UT Athletics family to reflect on a very successful year in the classroom.
The Spring 2010 GPA for UT’s 20 sports programs was a collective 3.02, and 57 percent of student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA or higher. In addition, 15 student-athletes earned Academic All-America honors during the 2009-10 athletic season, and 70 are projected to graduate either this spring or summer.
Fifty-six Longhorns were honored with the Provost Award, which acknowledges student-athletes who earned “all A’s” during the Spring and/or Fall 2010 semesters.
“This is a great night to see what these student-athletes have done as scholars. It’s a proud moment for everybody,” said Brian Davis, Associate Athletics Director for Football Academic Services. “You have to earn a 3.0 to be invited. That’s not easy. Earning a 4.0 at The University of Texas is getting more difficult, because we have plus-minus grading. This awards student-athletes who have tremendous balance in academics, athletics and civic service.”
Fran Harris, Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor member and captain of the 1986 women’s basketball national championship team, was the night’s featured speaker. She encouraged student-athletes to eliminate excuses from their work ethic, both competitive and in the classroom.
Accountability, Harris said, is the key to success in sports and in life.
“It is just amazing what these young people have achieved,” Plonsky said. “This is a world-class institution, and we demand so much of them. When you look at what they’ve done in the classroom -- their GPAs, their majors -- they belong at The University of Texas, and are just as competitive in the classroom as they are on their courts and fields.”
Academics Award Presentation – Awards of Highest Honor - 2011