July 21st, 2016
For all of us at Auburn, even those of us who work in Athletics, Commencement is the highlight of the year.
When our student-athletes complete their academic journeys, we feel the same sense of pride we do watching their buzzer-beaters, walk-off wins and last-second touchdowns.
Academic and athletic success go hand in hand. The same work ethic and commitment to excellence that drive our teams to succeed also propel our student-athletes to excel in the classroom.
More than 100 Auburn student-athletes were named to the Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, including 24 members of Coach Clint Myers' national runner-up softball team.
At Auburn, we have invested significantly in the academic success of our student-athletes by increasing our number of tutors and mentors.
Here are some of the returns on that investment:
- During the past five years, the average GPA of all student-athletes has increased from less than 3.0 to 3.17; the highest in program history.
- During the past five years, the percentage of student-athletes with an AU cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher has increased from less than 50% to almost 62%.
- During the past five years, the percentage of student-athletes scheduled to graduate with honors from Auburn University has increased from approximately 25% to 40%.
Think about that for a second. Nearly half of the men and women we cheer for on game day are on track to be honors graduates, even as they manage the demands that come with playing a sport at the highest level. Impressive, indeed.
I know first-hand the value of an Auburn education. Mine has served me every day for more than three decades.
That's why I'm so committed to making sure our student-athletes are given every resource they need to succeed, in tournaments and on term papers.
Long after the last race is run and the final game has been played, the lessons student-athletes learn at Auburn will continue to guide them.
As Auburn's National Champion Equestrian Coach Greg Williams says, his program is really about empowering young women. He knows these incredible student-athletes will greatly impact society at a time when we desperately need young leaders.
That's part of the immeasurable value of college athletics – lives changed and communities strengthened.
Providing the best experience for our student-athletes on and off the field will always be the cornerstone of our program at Auburn Athletics.
I can assure you that we will continue to invest in the lifetime success of our student-athletes. It's simply the right thing to do.
God bless and War Eagle,
You can also follow me on Twitter at @jayjacobsauad.