PROVIDENCE, RI – There's a reason why student is the first component of being a student-athlete. The Johnson & Wales University athletics department celebrated the academic achievements of more than 100 student-athletes Friday on National Student-Athlete Day.
Created by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports in 1987, National Student-Athlete Day recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who excel in the classroom, on the playing fields and who give back to their community through service projects.
This year's keynote speaker was former JWU men's ice hockey student-athlete Matt McGilvray '08. Inducted into the JWU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, McGilvray currently works at Northeast Passage, an organization that provides individuals with disabilities an opportunity to enjoy recreation with the same freedom of choice, quality of life and independence as their non-disabled peers.
His message to the current Wildcats was to continue to work hard in the classroom and in competition as well as to be flexible in their career path. McGilvray did not seek out his position at Northeast Passage, but rather someone connected to the organization thought the skills and qualities McGilvray possessed would be ideal for an open position.
Over the past year, 134 student-athletes earned a spot on academic all-conference teams. Emily Gorecki (softball), Stephen Jarrell (wrestling), Kate Walker (women's volleyball) and Raquel Pederzani (women's basketball) earned CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition.
National and regional academic honors have been bestowed on 55 student-athletes. Eight different teams were recognized by their national coaches' associations with team academic awards: