UMES student-athletes top MEAC peers for 6th straight year

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015

    MIAMI -The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has been recognized for the sixth consecutive year by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for having the league's highest graduation rate among its student-athletes.

    UMES' 88 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) was best among the league's 13 members between 2004 and 2007, the most recent period statistics are available. The first year UMES was recognized, its GSR was 77 percent. 

     Michael Myers Jr. and Jessica Long - 2015 alumni 

    "It is a great honor to win this award …," UMES athletic director Keith Davidson said. "It shows how successful our athletic program has truly been. 

    "The graduation success our student-athletes have had shows the quality of people we are recruiting and that the university is doing its part in preparing student-athletes for life after college," Davidson said. 

    UMES received a $25,000 check from the MEAC for the achievement during the league's annual late-spring meeting. 

    The GSR measures graduation rates of athletes at Division I institutions as well as those transferring into those schools, according to the NCAA. The accountability tool was created to reflect college students' mobility when comparing graduation data. 

    At a reception where UMES was recognized, the conference also announced its All-Sports Award winners. Hampton University won its 14th-straight Mary McLeod Bethune Women's All-Sports Award, while Bethune-Cookman University won its second straight Talmadge Layman Hill Men's Award. 

    UMES was runner-up in the men's award category, a ranking that can be attributed to a resurgence in men's basketball and baseball, and strong outings from track and field, including the men's cross-country championship. 

    On the women's side, the Hawks took seventh in a more closely contested category. 

    "This speaks to the commitment of our department in all of our core values," Davidson said. "Academics is the priority and we have shown that year in and year out.  

    "Now athletics are taking shape and we are seeing meaningful progress across the board in all of our sports," he said. "Those two areas along with our efforts in the community are what are key for us to producing productive members of society beyond their time in Princess Anne."

    During spring 2015 commencement exercises, 29 student-athletes earned their degrees, including 13 who graduated with honors. Those statistics will be factored into a future GSR report several years from now. 

     UMES bowlers - Class of 2015