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.”