July 23, 2001
Santa Clara Athletics has an incredible group of more than 300 students who participate on 17 intercollegiate sports teams. I have mentioned on several occasions how important it is that athletics is a strong component of the University's 150-year tradition of educating the whole person for a life of service and leadership.
I want to share a few positive success stories that reflect our commitment to contributing to the University's educational mission.
- Santa Clara University has the highest student-athlete graduation rate of any school in the WCC. According to the latest NCAA report, Bronco student-athletes entering school in 1993-94 graduated at 88 percent. That is 10 percent higher than the nearest WCC school and seven percent higher than the entire SCU student body, which is also the highest in the WCC!
- Annie Garrison was named the West Coast Conference's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She graduated this year with a 3.77 grade point average, with degrees in math and computer science. A unanimous first-team all-WCC selection for three years, Annie was one of only two women's basketball players in the nation to receive a postgraduate scholarship from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Annie was the vice president of the SCU math honors society and has served as an inspiration to young people for her excellence on and off the court. Following a year of professional basketball, she plans to enter a doctorate program in math at the University of Washington.
- Recent women's soccer graduate Kathleen Celio is deferring her graduate school plans for one year in order to volunteer her time to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, an organization that "provides essential services to low-income people and those who live on the margins of our society." For the next year, Kathleen will serve as a Jail Program Coordinator for the Chicago Legal Advocacy to Incarcerated Mothers program. CLAIM provides free legal services and client education to women in Illinois prisons, Cook County Jail and work release centers. The organization also advises and educates mothers about the laws and their rights to avoid permanently losing their children. During the spring Kathleen was awarded a prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship for her academic and athletic achievements. Her graduate school plans include pursuing a law degree at either Boston College or Notre Dame.
- The academic success of our student-athletes is hard to match. Following the spring quarter, more than 56 percent of all seniors in their final year of eligibility have a cumulative grade point average of over a 3.0, while nearly 50 percent of all student-athletes meet the same high standard. Interestingly, an incredible 68 percent of all senior female athletes have over a 3.0 as do over one-half of our 17 sports teams.
- One of the major indicators of academic integrity as it pertains to intercollegiate athletics is tracking exactly what courses of study our athletes are pursuing. A significant statement to the commitment to academic excellence among our athletes is majors of study. The six most popular majors among student-athletes at Santa Clara are (in order) communications, finance, marketing, psychology, OMIS (Operations Management Information Systems) and biology.