THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A record breaking 190 Cal Lutheran student-athletes were recognized for their academic accomplishments at the 15th Annual Scholar-Athlete Society Induction which took place Saturday morning inside Gilbert Arena
In 2003, Elaine Benditson inspired the concept and the Cal Lutheran Scholar-Athlete Society was created to acknowledge the academic achievements of CLU athletes. The institution believes it is important to give special emphasis to those students who are competing rigorously to achieve excellence in the classroom and in their chosen sport. The Kingsmen and Regals honored during the ceremony have each proven to bring equal dedication and discipline to both the classroom and chosen fields of play.
The inaugural class had 36 inductees and continues to grow each year. The 2018 induction class of 190 is the largest in the 15-year history. Student-athletes must maintain a 3.40 or higher cumulative grade point average to be inducted to the Scholar-Athlete Society.
Today, among the 190 student-athletes, there were 12 four-year inductees, 28 third-year, 49 second-year and 101 first-time honorees.
Of the student-athletes who participated in sports in 2017-18, 60% (333 of 554) earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Nearly 33% (181) produced a 3.5 or higher GPA and 27 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall semester.
The total GPA for all CLU sports teams this year in the fall was 3.14. Offering 21 intercollegiate sports, nine of those teams produced higher team GPAs in the fall of 2017 than in the fall of 2016. Overall, 15 teams (71%), had a 3.0 or higher team semester GPA.
Following the annual presentation of certificates and gifts to those inducted, the Male and Female SCIAC Scholar Athlete of the Year, as chosen by the CLU Faculty Athletic Policies Committee, Gianna Cupo and George French, each stepped up to the microphone to say a few words.
Cupo is a four-year athlete and played the past three seasons for the tennis team. She was named First Team All-SCIAC as a sophomore. During her junior season, she defeated multiple ranked and conference opponents. This season, she was a team captain and competed at the No. 3 singles spot for the Regals. She participates in many charity events, particularly for children. She has been in a movie and is helping produce video segments for the Cal Lutheran graduation ceremony.
French is a four-year water polo athlete and also competed for the swimming and diving team. He was a team captain for water polo and has been a major part of both programs. He is a three-time All-American for water polo and also received an All-Academic Award. French is a utility player for the Kingsmen and his favorite memory of CLU athletics is defeating Chapman at the SCIAC Championships. For swimming and diving, he earned two All-SCIAC awards. He has been admitted into dental school at the University of Southern California.
Cal Lutheran attracts students from all walks of life and areas of the world. Its diversity is unique and the passion that each and every student possesses is special. For many, one of those passions is sport, in turn producing amazing student-athletes for the Kingsmen and Regals year in and year out.
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director