Grace DeSandro | Collegian
Grace DeSandro | Collegian

Provost David Whalen announced Thursday that Hillsdale students averaged a 3.34 GPA last semester, the highest all-campus GPA since at least spring 2007, during the fall convocation ceremony at College Baptist Church.

According to spring 2016’s GPA data, the all-student average of a 3.34 is a slight increase from last year’s 3.32 GPA. The women and men averaged a 3.45 and a 3.23 GPA respectively.

Hillsdale College Provost David Whalen also awarded the scholarship cups to Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, Chi Omega sorority, and the women’s softball team for earning the highest average GPAs among Greeks and athletic teams.

The women’s softball team earned a 3.57 GPA, higher than the all-women and all-student averages. Head softball coach Joe Abraham said with a daily schedule that consists of weightlifting at 5:30 a.m. three days per week, practice until 8 or 9 p.m. in the winter, 50 games in the spring, and 20 hours of practice per week in the fall, managing a great GPA is no easy task.

“It is extremely difficult to be an athlete at Hillsdale, as the academics are rigorous and our athletes do not receive some of the considerations we see at our competitor schools,” Abraham said. “The reason our team has done so well in the classroom the last several years is that the girls have created a culture where they expect to do well individually and they expect their teammates to do well. They are driven and have a ton of grit.”

Alpha Tau Omega also made great strides with its 3.30 GPA, significantly surpassing last year’s GPA of 3.17 and barely beating out this year’s all men’s average of 3.23.

ATO’s scholarship chair junior Nainoa Johsens said the fraternity aimed to increase its grades in the spring, after losing to Sigma Chi in fall 2015. He said the key to achieving its average GPA was finding standouts during the recruitment process.

Chi Omega also took a big leap in its GPA from the 2015 fall convocation, increasing from a 3.31 to a 3.42 GPA.  Chi Omega sorority Vice President senior Corianna Baier said the national sorority holds all of its chapters to high academic standards. She said she believes that winning the scholarship cup is a great way to recognize the women’s dedication to their work in the classroom.

“For Chi Omega, it’s not about the scholarship cup,” Baier said. “Scholarship is one of our six purposes, and Chi Omega nationally holds all of its members to high academic standards. Winning the scholarship cup is recognition that we are doing so, and as vice president, I’m extremely proud of all my sisters.”

In addition to recognizing the softball team and Greek houses, Whalen also honored Professor of English Dwight Lindley with this semester’s Emily Daugherty Award for his excellence in teaching.

Looking toward next semester’s convocation, coach Abraham said it’ll be hard for the softball team to beat this year’s team GPA, but he remains optimistic about what they can achieve.

“We hope to maintain our success based upon the culture the team has built,” Abraham said. “More than half of our team are freshmen this year, so it will be difficult to match last year’s GPA, but the important thing is to keep the high expectations, as the results will likely follow.”

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Thomas Novelly
Collegian Editor-in-Chief, Thomas Novelly was born in Novi, Michigan, but was raised in Franklin, Tennessee, making him a self-proclaimed "Yankee gone South." Thomas began writing for The Collegian as a sophomore, and since has served as a reporter, columnist, and Assistant City News Editor. He has also worked for two major publications, interning at the Washington Free Beacon in D.C. and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has been seen in National publications such as CBS News, National Review Online, Stars And Stripes, and USA Today. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.