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Our Bees Earn A's

SAu football players charging the field

March 2017

From among 248 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics member schools, St. Ambrose was one of just 19 to earn a gold star in the NAIA's Champions of Character program for the 2015-16 school year.

Institutions were awarded points for character training, conduct during competition and academic focus. The Bees exceeded standards in all three categories, but most measurably in the classroom.

St. Ambrose athletes carried a cumulative 3.20 grade point average, and 21 Fighting Bees programs exceeded the NAIA scholar team minimum standard of a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Two teams led their respective sports-the combined cheerleading and dance squad and, for a second straight year, the SAU football team.

Seven 2015-16 Bees squads had collective GPAs of 3.40 or better.

The success continued in the first half of this academic year, as women's soccer player Kayla Anderson was named to the Academic All-America team. That's an impressive honor that five Bees athletes achieved in 2015-2016. Another 29 SAU athletes were named NAIA scholar athletes this past fall, following 65 Fighting Bees who achieved that honor the previous academic year.

"More than a third of our undergraduate students participate in intercollegiate athletics, and with our new Wellness and Recreation Center nearing completion, that percentage is likely to increase in the coming years," said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of the university. "We are especially proud that our athletes come to our campus to be students first and leave having achieved remarkable things in the classroom."

Paul Koch, PhD, vice president of academic and student affairs and provost, said the academic success is a reflection of the strong emphasis SAU coaches place on classroom success.

"Our coaches are dedicated to helping their team members be students before they are athletes," Koch said. "That is going to be their ticket to success when they leave here."

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