PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference office announced today (Wednesday, July 15) the inaugural list of Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award recipients, with 54 University of Michigan student-athletes receiving the prestigious designation.
"We are proud of the academic accomplishments of our Big Ten Distinguished Scholars," said Athletic Director Bill Martin. "They compete hard in the classroom and in the arena and we applaud all of their success. They devote a lot of time and energy to their academic and athletic pursuits and it is great to have them recognized."
The honor is based upon the grade-point average (GPA) from the previous academic year only, compared to the Academic All-Big Ten honorees who are selected based on cumulative GPA. To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and have earned a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous fall and winter semesters. Graduate students are also eligible, as long as he/she did not graduate before completing the two 2008-09 semesters.
The list of 2009 scholars, 29 female and 25 male representatives, constitutes 11 percent of the student-athlete population at the University of Michigan. The women's track and field/cross country teams combined to have nine representatives receive the distinction, followed closely by the men's gymnastics squad (eight members). The women's swimming and diving and men's track and field/cross country teams each have six honorees.
Senior pole vaulter Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS), sophomore men's gymnast Devan Cote (Hollis, N.H./Hollis-Brookline HS) and senior cross country runner Alyson Kohlmeier (Sarnia, Ont.,Canada/St. Patrick's HS) were the top scholars for U-M this past academic year, attaining 4.0 grade-point averages.
Following is the list of 54 U-M Big Ten Distinguished Scholars: