OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss captured its fourth consecutive Halbrook Award for having the highest graduation rate among Mississippi’s women’s college athletics programs during the past academic year.
The award was one of several presented at the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities annual conference hosted this fall by William Carey University in Hattiesburg.
Ole Miss’ women’s sports teams produced an 88 percent graduation rate in 2011-12 that was tops among the state’s eight four-year public schools, which include Alcorn State, Delta State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss.
Highlighting the Rebel squads, women’s golf turned in a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. Women’s track and field had a 97, volleyball posted a 94, women’s basketball tallied a 93 and women’s tennis recorded a 90 percent graduation rate.
“I am especially proud of this student-athlete population because they continue to compete fearlessly in the classroom as well as on the field and courts of play,” said Derek Cowherd, senior associate athletics director for academic support. “They continue to represent the University of Mississippi well. Earning the Halbrook Award four years in a row shows an overall commitment to academic success by the administration, coaches, and especially the Ole Miss female student-athletes.
“Our goal at the FedEx Student-Athlete Success Center is to encourage our student-athletes to remain laser-focused on graduation and provide them with the tools they need to be successful long after they exhaust their athletic eligibility.”
The award was one of several presented at the luncheon ceremony during the 79th annual MAC Conference.
In addition to the women’s sports receiving the Halbrook Award, recent Ole Miss graduates Gabby Rangel (women’s tennis) and Marcel Thiemann (men’s tennis) were honored with individual Halbrook Awards recognizing their achievements as student athletes who excel in academics, leadership and community service.
The Halbrook Awards were established by the State Legislature and named for former State legislator David Halbrook, whose family also endows the award program.
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