Athletes pose with EMU President Loren Swartzendruber during Royals Night 2012.

EMU’s Athletic Department Adds Student-Athlete Recognition

Eastern Mennonite University Director of Athletics Dave King has announced the start of three new initiatives by the athletic department: Royals Athlete of the Week, Royals All-Academic Team, and Senior Recognition.

The Royals Athlete of the Week award will go to a student-athlete who is selected weekly by the athletic department.  That man or woman will be one who has made a significant contribution to the team athletically, emotionally, spiritually, academically or in leadership.  The award will be announced each Tuesday with recognition on the Athletic Bulletin Board in University Commons and on the website,  Award winners receive a certificate.

Look for a complete list of Royals Athlete of the Week winners here.  Each weekly winner will also be posted in the main news rotation on the front page, as well as on their respective sport’s page.

The Royals All-Academic Team will be announced at the end of each semester and is comprised of student-athletes who have successfully balanced the athletic and academic demands by achieving at least a 3.25 GPA.  Team members will receive a certificate and be recognized on the Athletic Bulletin Board and the website.

For the Senior Recognition, senior athletes in all sports will be recognized and honored at halftime of a basketball game.  Each senior will be accompanied by a faculty member of their choice who has had a significant impact on their educational experience.

“I am really excited about these new initiatives that give recognition to our student-athletes,” said King.  “Too often the focus in athletics is on problem areas or results of games, and not about all the good that is happening right in front of us.  We often don’t get to hear or understand the student-athlete’s perspective.  Our goals have always centered on using the sports experience to help young people develop skills for life beyond college.”

While EMU’s athletic department honors a few of its top student-athletes at a seniors banquet at the end of each school year, these new awards open avenues to recognize Royals’ student-athletes in a more public avenue.

“These recognitions and awards remind us of the purpose for athletics and help us celebrate student-athletes,” explained King.  “Celebrating student-athletes in theses ways keeps us aligned with the values and philosophy of Division III.”