June 14, 2012
Rams Athletes Garner Academic Honors
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.-- North Central Athletics was well represented at the annual campus wide Academic Awards Ceremony that was held at the close of the school year. This included six athletes receiving awards within their academic department and featured Evan Fortunato being named the valedictorian for the graduating class of 2012.
Senior Track & Field athlete Evan Fortunato led the Rams field events for four seasons before being named the North Central University Class of 2012 Valedictorian. Fortunato graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA and was also the Outstanding Graduate in Children and Family Ministry.
Two Rams athletes received awards within the English Department including graduating seniors Tony Johns (Mankato, Minn.) and Andrea Grandstrand (Stephen, Minn.). Johns, a four year member of the NCU Cross Country program, who also ran three years of track & field, received the English Scholar award for outstanding academic performance within the English Department. Grandstrand, a four year volleyball player and three year softball athlete received the English Department's writing award.
Graduating senior Joe Robinson (Gilbert, Ariz.) capped off his four year baseball career with his second straight NCCAA Division II All-American Award and was named the Outstanding Graduate in Sports Management.
After spending four years on the NCU Men's Soccer team and three on the Men's Tennis team, senior Zach Claussen (Bemidji, Minn.) was named the 2012 Outstanding Graduate in Evangelism & Church Planting.
Senior Becca Armstrong (Wrangell, Alaska) was a four year member of the Rams Cross Country team along with running Track & Field for three seasons. She capped off her academic career by being named the 2012 Outstanding Graduate in Youth Ministries. She also received the Association of Youth Ministry Educators Outstanding Student of the Year Award which included student nominations from all across the country.
These outstanding performances give testimony to value North Central Athletics places on student athletes excelling in the classroom as well as on the field of competition.
Each one of the athletes mentioned started for least one team that qualified for or won a national championship (Armstrong, Johns, Robinson and Claussen), recorded the best record in school history (Grandstrand) or was a conference event finalist in an individual sport (Fortunato).
Overall NCU Athletes achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.133 during the spring 2012 semester which is better than the overall average for non-varsity athletes (3.059) during the same period.