The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) is proud to announce the winner of the 2011-12 GPAC-Christopherson All-Academic Award. Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, claims the honor with the combined GPA of 3.29 among all of their student-athletes for the 2011-2012 academic year. The Prairie Wolves won the award for the third time in school history.
"On behalf of the membership of the GPAC I want to commend Nebraska Wesleyan on winning the Dr. Christopherson All-Academic Award for 2011-12," said Corey Westra, GPAC Commissioner. "A combined GPA of 3.29 with almost 500 student-athletes speaks volumes to the hard work and commitment of the Nebraska Wesleyan student-athletes, professors, coaches, and administrators." "Nebraska Wesleyan is a charter member of the league and has won the All-Sports Trophy many times in the past and to win this award is a credit to their commitment to academics at their University," added Westra.
"We expect Nebraska Wesleyan student-athletes to be outstanding students AND outstanding athletes," said Nebraska Wesleyan Faculty Athletic Representative Dr. Loy Watley. "The preparation and hard work they put into their sports matches the preparation and hard work they put into their studies. Our faculty, staff, coaches, and administrators are excited to join the GPAC in recognizing the outstanding work of Nebraska Wesleyan's student-athletes."
"We are very excited and proud that our student athletes are the recipients of the 2011-12 Dr. Myrvin Christopherson All-Academic Award," said Nebraska Wesleyan Athletic Director Dr. Ira Zeff. "One of Nebraska Wesleyan's core values is excellence and this achievement is another example of our student-athletes long standing tradition of excellence on the field and in the classroom."
The Christopherson All-Academic Award, which began in 2005-2006, is named in honor of former Dana College* President Dr. Myrvin Christopherson's faithful and long-term service to student-athletes in the GPAC. Dr. Christopherson retired following the 2004-2005 academic year after 19 years of dedicated leadership at Dana College.
President Christopherson served as the first chair of the GPAC Council of Presidents, which was formed in 2004. Dr. Christopherson was very active with the NAIA serving on the Council of Presidents for many years up until his retirement. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Christopherson was a Viking student athlete himself, playing for the men's basketball and baseball teams.
Concordia University and Hastings College were second and third in the overall All-Academic standings for 2011-12 with 3.23 and 3.21 GPA's respectively. Morningside College had the top GPA among women's sports with a 3.44, while Nebraska Wesleyan led the men's sports with a 3.22.
GPAC Christopherson All-Academic Award Winners
2005-2006 – Mount Marty College
2006-2007 – Mount Marty College
2007-2008 – Mount Marty College
2008-2009 – Nebraska Wesleyan University
2009-2010 – Not Awarded**
2010-2011 – Nebraska Wesleyan University
2011-2012 – Nebraska Wesleyan University
*Dana College was a charter member of the Nebraska-Intercollegiate (Iowa) Athletic Conference (1969) and Great Plains Athletic Conference (2000). The college closed in the summer of 2010 after 126 years of operation in Blair, Nebraska. The GPAC Christopherson All-Academic Award continues in the conference to honor Dr. Christopherson's many years of service.
**The Christopherson All-Academic Award was not awarded for 2009-2010 in recognition of Dana College's closure. The GPAC wished to honor Dana's many years of membership in the NIAC and GPAC by not awarding the Christopherson All-Academic Award for one year.