PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Plymouth State University has won the Little East Conference (LEC) President's Cup for the first time in the award's history after recording a 3.13 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for the 2017-18 academic year among its 18 programs that compete in the LEC.
The LEC Presidents' Cup measures the highest cumulative grade point average of all institutions in the conference. Each institution calculates the cumulative grade point average for all of its student-athletes that compete in the league's 19 championship-sponsored sports.
"Plymouth State University is a place for 'tomorrow changers' who make the most of all that the University has to offer, so it's fitting that our student athletes are also great student scholars," said PSU President Donald L. Birx. "This is a wonderful tribute to our coaches and athletics staff, who emphasize the importance of academics along with success in sports. At Plymouth State, we focus on helping students learn about teamwork while learning to lead, and to advance their career prospects while advancing our communities. On behalf of proud Panthers everywhere, congratulations!"
"I could not be more proud of our student-athletes for winning this year's Presidents' Cup," added Plymouth State Director of Athletics Kim Bownes. "This award means more than any other, as we are about their education above all else."
Plymouth State had 14 of its 18 LEC programs post a GPA of 3.0 or better, nine of which had a GPA of at least 3.20. The Panthers' softball program led the way with a 3.53 GPA, with their women's tennis (3.45) and women's lacrosse (3.43 GPA) programs close behind. PSU's top-performing men's program was the men's soccer team with a 3.21 GPA.
"I congratulate the scholar-athletes of Plymouth State University for earning their first Little East Conference Presidents' Cup, the LEC's highest academic award," said LEC Commissioner Cora H. Brumley. "This prestigious award clearly demonstrates intercollegiate athletics' ability to enhance the academic mission of our member institutions. The Panthers' administration and coaches are to be commended for their role in facilitating their student-athletes' achievements."
Plymouth State is just the fourth institution to win the LEC Presidents' Cup, which was first awarded following the 2009-10 academic year, joining Eastern Connecticut State University (2009-10, 2014-17), Keene State College (2010-13) and UMass Dartmouth (2013-14).
2017-18 LEC President's Cup Standings
1. Plymouth State – 3.13
2. Eastern Connecticut – 3.11
3. Southern Maine – 3.08
4. Keene State – 3.07
5. UMass Dartmouth – 3.02
6. Rhode Island College – 2.98
7. Western Connecticut – 2.96
8. UMass Boston – 2.91
About the Little East Conference
The Little East Conference (LEC) was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 Championship Sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.