Staff Reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 8, 1998


Yesterday, athletes who held a 3.00 GPA or higher for 1997 were honored at the 21st Annual Mary Roby Academic Achievement Awards Luncheon in the Arizona Ballroom.

This yearly tribute was first established as the Golden Eagle Awards in 1977 by the late William M. Clemente. Now it is named for Mary Pavlich Roby, a former UA letterwoman from 1944-48. As a professor of exercise and sports sciences, she began her career as an athletic administrator in 1959 before going on to become Arizona's first woman director of athletics in 1972. She also served on several NCAA committees throughout her career.

Dr. Roby was in attendance at the function as was UA President Peter Likins and Athletic Director Jim Livengood. All three, with the help of Associate Athletic Director Dick Bartsch, handed out the award plaques to the student athletes present.

This year 130 student athletes were recipients of the award. Almost every sport with the exception of men's basketball was represented among the honorees.

The women's golf team won the award for the highest team GPA for women's sports and men's tennis claimed the honor for men's sports.

Senior volleyball player Stephanie Venne presented a speech on behalf of her years as a Wildcat, stressing that her days spent as a UA athlete helped prepare her for the world after college.

Livengood addressed the importance of academics in the athletics arena, saying that scholarly achievement is just as worthy of recognition as athletic accomplishment.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if someday a luncheon like this could be recognized in the same manner as National and Conference Championships," Livengood said in his opening remarks.

By the Numbers


The number of athletes who were honored as Distinguished Scholars at the Mary Roby Academic Achievements Award Luncheon. The following students received a 4.00 GPA for the spring and fall semesters of last year:

Freshman Barbara Brandt, track and field; senior Heather Branstetter, swimming; sophomore Michael Cramer, track and field; junior Andrea Neary, track and field; senior Leah O'Brien, softball; senior Davi Paletz, track and field; senior Jennifer Rickard, soccer; senior Claudia Stanescu, swimming; senior Stephanie Venne, volleyball.

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