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September 21, 2004

Athletic Award For D2 Grand Valley State

FROM THE SCENIC WESTERN HALF OF MICHIGAN comes news that Grand Valley State University has been awarded the 2003-04 US Sports Academy Director's Cup for overall athletic success in Division II.

Born out of a study by the state legislature in the 50s that determined a need for a state university in western Michigan, Grand Valley has come a long way in a relatively short time.

Consider the following:

• In 1964 the student body numbered less than 450, and the only sport was crew.

• Men’s basketball began in 1966, women’s basketball in 1970 and football in 1971.

• Grand Valley now has more than 22,000 students, 10 women’s teams and 9 men’s teams.

• The athletics budget is $5 million.

• Grand Valley awards 117 scholarships (D2 max is 151). The 117 scholarships are divided to maximize effectiveness. Only five athletes get full scholarships.

• Students attend events free and pay no athletics fees.

• Grand Valley is proficient in raising revenue: $230,000 in advertising / sponsorships, $158,000 in ticket revenue and $150,000 in fundraising.

Academics for student-athletes at Grand Valley are exemplary as well. 55% of Laker athletes had a GPA of at least 3.0. The grad rate for student-athletes was 55% (higher than the overall student body of 48%).

Kudos for the Grand Valley State Lakers.

(this 219 word excerpt—with attendant commentary—was culled from a 1183 word article from USA Today of 9-20-04)