Posted: Apr 25, 2013 10:15 AM
COLUMBIA - The Cougar Athletic Department held their annual Celebration of Excellence on Wednesday night to honor the accomplishments of Columbia College's student-athletes in their respective sports as well as in the classroom and the community.
Women's basketball player Kaitlin Allphin was the recipient of the Virginia and Stanley Williams Senior Athlete Award for having the highest GPA among all senior graduating student-athletes.
Senior softball outfielder Lauren Berkbuegler and the men's basketball team were the winners of the NAIA Champions of Character Award for successfully embodying the five core values of respect, integrity, servant leadership, sportsmanship and responsibility.
A new award was given tonight. The award was created by Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Terry Smith and is named the Dean's Team Academic Achievement Award (DT3A). The award will be presented to the women's varsity and men's varsity program with the highest GPAs from the previous calendar year. The inaugural award was given to the women's softball team for their GPA of 3.40 from 2012.
Senior basketball player Jordan Dressler received the Male Athlete of the Year Award. Jordan finished his third season with the Cougar men's basketball team. He is a starting forward for the Cougars and led his 2012-13 team to a perfect 30-0 regular season, the conference regular season and tournament championship and made his third appearance in the NAIA National Championships. Jordan was a First Team All-Conference member and AMC Player of the Year as well as an NAIA First Team All-American.
Senior volleyball player Paula Ferreira received the Female Athlete of the Year Award for the third season in a row. Paula played in every match for Columbia this season, helping her team to a runner-up finish at the NAIA Volleyball National Championships for the second time in three years. Paula was named First Team All-Conference, AMC Player of the Year, AMC Setter of the Year, First Team All-American, NAIA Player of the Year, National Tournament MVP and was named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for the second season in a row.
Columbia College President Dr. Gerald Brouder was the recipient of the Athletic Director's Award for his undying support of the Cougar Athletic Department.
The Fran's Fan award was presented for the second time this year. It was created in honor of Fran Koepke, a long-time supporter of Columbia College and the athletic department. This award is meant to honor the student who best exhibits the qualities of Fran and the entire Koepke family. Students were chosen from the following characteristics; attendance of athletic contests, willingness to bring others to athletic events and the spirit and enthusiasm that Fran shared with all of us. The winner of this award was Jayme Perkins.