Belmont University Claims OVC Institutional Academic Achievement Award

Belmont University has been awarded the 2021-22 Ohio Valley Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award, the league office announced last week.

The award is presented annually to the member institution with the greatest percentage of its eligible student-athletes that earn a 3.25 grade-point average or higher for that academic year.

This past year, 83 percent of eligible Belmont student-athletes posted a 3.25 grade-point average or higher.

It marks the 10th straight crown for Belmont, who claimed the honor every year of its membership in the OVC (2012-22).

Belmont University has now claimed a conference academic achievement award 19 of the last 21 academic years, including nine of its 11 years of membership in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

For the 2022 spring semester, the departmental grade-point average (GPA) was 3.527, which marked the 49th consecutive semester that Belmont student-athletes have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

“Everyday Excellence is more than the theme of Belmont Athletics. It’s truly a reflection of everything this program represents: excellence in sports, excellence in character formation, excellence in service and, of course, excellence in the classroom,” said Belmont University President Dr. Greg Jones. “To achieve this conference-wide academic honor 19 of 21 years is an incredible feat and a testament to all that the Belmont Bruins are about. I’m so proud of our student-athletes and all the coaches, trainers, faculty and staff that support their extraordinary efforts.”

“Today’s honor culminates a remarkable decade of achievement for Belmont Athletics,” Corley said. “To claim the OVC Commissioner’s Cup for athletic excellence and the OVC Institutional Academic Achievement Award in 2021-22 perfectly encapsulates the far-reaching successes of our student-athletes. They continue to amaze and inspire our University community, and reflect the hope, resiliency and upward trajectory of Belmont.”

In addition to the Institutional Academic Achievement Award, the OVC also announced the recipients of 17 conference Team Academic Achievement Awards, which are presented annually in each conference-sponsored sport to the member institution’s team with the greatest percentage of its eligible student-athletes who achieved a 3.25 grade point average or higher.

Belmont took home a league-high nine awards: baseball, men’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s track & field and volleyball.

Twenty-seven Bruin student-athletes received the OVC Medal of Honor, emblematic of a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the 2021-22 academic year:

  • Dusty Baird (Indianapolis, Ind.) – baseball
  • Conley Chinn (Jackson, Miss.) – women’s basketball
  • Jamilyn Kinney (Van Buren, Ark.) – women’s basketball
  • Brooke Garter (Kings Mills, Ohio) – women’s cross country and track & field
  • Brooke Stromsland (Lindenhurst, Ill.) – women’s cross country
  • Kaitlyn Vanderkolk (Brentwood, Tenn.) – women’s cross country and track & field
  • Brooke Waldal (Carmel, Ind.) – women’s cross country
  • Delia Gibbs (Lexington, Ky.) – women’s golf
  • Maribeth Peevy (Collierville, Tenn.) – women’s golf
  • Sarah Utley (Owens Cross Roads, Ala.) – women’s golf
  • Andrea Leitner (Scotch Plains, N.J.) – women’s soccer
  • Avery Nowak (Oviedo, Fla.) – women’s soccer
  • Anna Sweeney (Dayton, Ohio) – women’s soccer
  • Cheyenne Cavanaugh (Spring, Texas) – softball
  • Gabrielle Givers (Milton, Ga.) – softball
  • Audrey Lyle (Westlake, Ohio) – softball
  • Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) – softball
  • Lauren Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) – softball
  • Tomas Luis (Tavira, Portugal) – men’s tennis
  • Noah Grimm (Brighton, Mich.) – men’s track & field
  • Sade Aladade (Canton, Ga.) – women’s track & field
  • Savanah Balcerak (Muskego, Wis.) – women’s track & field
  • Allison Gunderson (Reno, Nev.) – women’s track & field
  • Emory Moore (Nashville, Tenn.) – women’s track & field
  • Nicola van der Merwe (Chattanooga, Tenn.) – women’s track & field
  • Mary Catherine Ball (Hendersonville, N.C.) – volleyball
  • Rachel McBride (Decatur, Ind.) – volleyball

Belmont University had 194 student-athletes in total named academic all-conference, including 17 student-athletes from men’s soccer (honored as part of the SoCon Academic Honor Roll).

Belmont University athletic teams also performed among the nation’s best in the annual NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate report.

Belmont’s 17 sponsored sports averaged an astounding 993 out of 1000 APR score, with men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf and women’s tennis recording perfect 1000 scores.

In December, Belmont ranked ninth nationally among all NCAA Division I institutions in Graduation Success Rate, joining the likes of Brown, Bucknell, Elon, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Manhattan, Northwestern, Princeton, Seton Hall and Villanova.

About Belmont University
Located two miles from downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Belmont University consists of nearly 8,800 students who come from every state and 33 countries. Consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report for innovation and commitment to undergraduate teaching, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christ-centered and student-focused community of learning and service. As a campus that aims to Let Hope Abound, the University is committed to producing graduates who are Hope Inspiring, Character Forming, Future Shaping, Community Engaging and Bridge Building people. With more than 115 areas of undergraduate study, 41 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual’s horizon. For more information, visit