By John Riemer
Athletic Communications Intern

WILMINGTON, North Carolina- UNCW’s student-athletes have long been recognized for their academic work and now their accomplishments in the classroom will also be recognized by a national academic organization.

Forty-one Seahawks will be inducted into the National College Athletic Honor Society or Chi Alpha Sigma during a special ceremony next Thursday, May 8, in the Golden Hawk Room of the Nixon Annex. Chi Alpha Sigma was founded at DePauw University in 1996. Nick Mourouzis, who was a professor and football coach at the Indiana school, founded the society.

The student-athlete honor society recognizes student- athletes with a varsity letter who maintain a 3.40 grade point average. The society accepts juniors and seniors into its ranks, and UNCW had 19 juniors and 22 seniors receive the honor.

"College athletics have received a tremendous amount of criticism in recent years for overemphasizing athletics and underemphasizing academics," Mourouzis said in a DePauw news release during the inaugural year of Chi Alpha Sigma. "We need to renew the emphasis on the 'student' part of the term 'student-athlete.'”

The women’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis teams had the most inductees in UNCW’s charter group with five student-athletes each on the list. A total of 16 men and 25 women make up the 2014 honor society class. 

“It’s exciting that our student-athletes can be acknowledged in their own athletic academic honor society,” said Student- Athlete Support Services Coordinator Beth Bridger. “We want to not only celebrate our athletes’ accomplishments on the playing field, but in the classroom as well.”

UNCW is the North Carolina Iota Chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma. The motto of the society is “Excellence in Athletics and Academics.” The organization encourages good citizenship, moral character, and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics.

“We feel that UNCW student-athletes embody the core principles of this organization and everything it stands for. Every year, we hope to have more student-athletes added to the society,” said Bridger. 

The seniors accepted into the honor society will be recognized at the Student-Athlete Sashing Ceremony on May 8 at 10:30 a.m. in the Golden Hawk Room of the Nixon Annex.