STARKVILLE, Miss.-Mississippi State University again is receiving major recognition from the Halbrook Awards for Academic Achievement Among Athletes program.
During this week's Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities Annual Conference, MSU was named winner in the Public University Division for the highest percentage of both female and male athletes graduating - with 87 percent of females graduating and 72 percent of males graduating. The university's overall graduation rate for student athletes is 77 percent.
Administered cooperatively by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, Mississippi Community College Board, and Mississippi Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Halbrook Awards program recognizes college and universities that maintain and achieve high academic standards for student athletes, thus encouraging high graduation rates.
While serving in the Mississippi Legislature, Representative David M. Halbrook Sr., along with his brothers John, James and J.A. Halbrook, endowed the Halbrook Awards.
Along with MSU receiving the overall female and male awards for two consecutive years, the university's female student athletes have been recognized by the Halbrook Awards program for the last four years.
"Winning these prestigious awards is a significant accomplishment for our talented student athletes and overall athletics program here at Mississippi State," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.
Additionally, two MSU student athletes received David M. Halbrook certificates for academic achievement. They include Brandon B. McBride, a member of the men's track and field team and a public policy and administration master's student from Canada, and Cornelia Griesche, a women's track and field team member from Germany who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's in economics this past spring.
In May, McBride also graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
"Having the highest male and female student-athlete graduation rate in back-to-back years is a great honor," said Christine Jackson, MSU assistant athletic director and director of athletic academic support services. "The collaborative work done by the student-athletes, Office of Athletic Academics, athletic administrators, coaches and university is a great source of pride for all Bulldogs."
"We are very appreciative of the IHL for bestowing such an honor upon us and for its continuous support of academic excellence throughout the state," Jackson added.