Illinois State student-athletes set a new semester departmental grade-point average (GPA) record of 3.61 during the Spring 2020 semester, topping the previous mark of 3.31 set during the Spring 2019 semester, and all but two teams beat their previous team GPA records in the latest grade report announced by Assistant Athletics Director for Academics and Life Skills Joe Klausner.

“Clearly these numbers illustrate a tremendous spring semester by our Redbird student-athletes in the classroom. Our Redbirds certainly have something to be proud of and have shown an incredible display of resilience and dedication these last two months,” Klausner said. “Having their seasons end abruptly and moving to online learning provided unique challenges, but our student-athletes displayed their true character and ability to cope and persevere through unprecedented times.”

“Our athletics department received tremendous support from many entities, and I would like to thank the campus and athletic leadership teams for their guidance. Also, to the many professors that were asked to move to online learning at the end of spring break, thank you for continuing to provide a world-class educational experience for our entire student body as I’m sure this provided challenges for you as well,” Klausner continued. “A big thank you to our coaching staffs who worked tremendously hard with the team at Karin L. Bone Athletics Study Center to keep students motivated and accountable during this shift to online learning. And lastly, thank you to our University College team in Julie PaskaAllison Anson, and Lindsey Prior who were just tremendously dedicated and attentive to our student-athlete needs and went above and beyond this past couple of months. It was a total team effort and I couldn’t be prouder of our students and support staff.”

The 3.61 cumulative GPA Redbird student-athletes were able to earn was in part due to the pass/no pass policy enacted campus-wide in response to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. ISU’s women’s programs combined for a 3.77 cumulative GPA, topping the previous high of 3.58, and the Illinois State men’s teams combined to earn a 3.45 GPA to set a new department standard. The women’s tennis (3.97) and men’s tennis (3.95) teams were the GPA award winners for the highest marks among the women’s and men’s programs, respectively.

A total of 376 Redbird student-athletes were named to the AFNI Honor Roll, accounting for 91 percent of the group. Additionally, a total of 161 student-athletes posted perfect 4.0 GPAs during the spring semester, topping the record of 100 from this past fall.

“The staff at the Karin L. Bone Athletics Study Center has always provided unrivaled support and resources for our student-athletes, but this past spring was a strong display of their ability to work together as a team in order to problem solve and adapt while being resourceful,” Klausner said. “The coordinators and tutors were outstanding in how they handled this unique time and I’m extremely appreciative of the role they played in the success of our student-athletes.”