UMES WINS MEAC's HIGHEST GRADUATE RATE AWARD
UMES Director of Athletics Keith Davidson accepted the award earlier this week.
UMES Director of Athletics Keith Davidson accepted the award earlier this week.

May 28, 2010

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) was recognized during a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) reception at the Norfolk Marriott Waterside Hotel on Wednesday evening as the 2009 recipient of the MEAC Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Award. In addition to the recognition, UMES was presented a check for $10,000. UMES' 77-percent GSR is the highest among any MEAC institution spanning the 1999-2002 cohorts.

"I would like to congratulate the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for achieving the Highest Graduation Success rate in the MEAC," stated MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas. "I applaud UMES for making a commitment to the student-athletes academic success and their ultimate collegiate goal of obtaining a college degree."

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate was developed in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among college students today. The GSR improves on the federally mandated graduation rate by including students who were omitted from the federal calculation.

"We are very proud of this award," said UMES Director of Athletics Keith Davidson. "Student-athletes compete athletically for this University, but first and foremost they come here to get an education and earn a degree. This award shows that we are doing our job of educating young men and women and exemplifies the total strength of our athletic program."

Also at the reception the conference presented Hampton University with its ninth consecutive Mary McLeod Bethune-Cookman Women's All-Sports Award and Norfolk State with its sixth consecutive Talmadge Layman Hill Men's Award.

Each institution was presented a $20,000 check during the event.

Hampton women's programs totaled 74.5 points in the All-Sports tally. UMES, runner-up to the award last season by just a half point, posted 64.5 points, finishing fifth out of the 11 conference institutions. They earned the full points in volleyball, 12, winning the northern division, and posted 10 points in bowling, nine and half in cross-country and nine in indoor track and field.

The NSU Spartans men's programs totaled 70 points eclipsing their closest challenge by 15 points. UMES was again fifth with 42.5 points, an impressive feat considering they do not compete in football and can earn no points in that category. They posted 10 points in outdoor track and field and eight in cross-country. Tennis tallied seven points to add to the total.

Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with 12 points for champions or first place regular season finishes. The second place teams get 10 points. Tied teams split the total points.

The Mary McLeod Bethune and Talmadge Layman Hill Awards
The Mary McLeod Bethune Award, named after the founder of Bethune-Cookman College, awards the top overall women's athletic program during the course of one full academic year. The first Mary McLeod Bethune award was giving in 1987 to Delaware State University. Florida A&M (1993-2000) and Hampton leads all MEAC schools with nine Women's Awards. The men's All-Sports Award is named after the late Talmadge Layman Hill, a former player and coach at Morgan State, and former Chairman of the MEAC Steering and Planning Committee, as well as the conference's first President. Howard University was the recipient of the first Talmadge Layman Hill Award in 1972. South Carolina State holds the men's record with 11 awards from 1973-84.