FORT MYERS, Fla. - The "student" in student-athlete took center stage Friday afternoon as President Wilson Bradshaw was amongst Florida Gulf Coast University administrators who honored 33 FGCU student-athletes and cheerleaders who have excelled in the classroom during the inaugural Athletic Academic Honors Luncheon in the Student Union Ballroom. In addition to team excellence awards, Bernie and Elaine Lester were honored with the initial FGCU Athletics Service Award.
The 33 individuals honored Friday have been at FGCU for at least two semesters and boast a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average. Overall, 19 FGCU student-athletes posted 4.0 semester GPA's last fall and 144 out of 239 total student-athletes (60-percent) earned a spot on the Florida Gulf Coast University Athletic Director's Honor Roll for posting a minimum 3.0 semester grade point average during the 2009 Fall term. FGCU student-athletes have combined for a record cumulative3.15 department grade point average, exceeding the University’s general student body 2.97 combined GPA.
Coach Jim Blankenship’s women’s soccer team was recognized for posting the best semester grade point average (3.34) during the Fall semester among team sports programs. Coach Jennifer Gabou’s women's tennis team (3.38 semester GPA) earned the honor among individual team sports, as well as being the program with the most improved team gpa (.81 better than the 2009 Spring semester).
The Lesters were honored for their tremendous overall commitment to FGCU student-athletes since the inception of Eagles Athletics in the Fall of 2000. This has been demonstrated through their financial support of athletic scholarships, as well as their moral support at countless home and away events despite their home residence of Lakeland, Fla.