BERKELEY - The best and the brightest of Cal's student-athletes were recognized Monday at the annual Academic Honors Luncheon at Haas Pavilion.
A host of awards and postgraduate scholarships were handed down as Cal's athletic department paid tribute to a variety of student-athletes demonstrating a diverse set of achievements.
Cal's women's golf team did a back-and-forth to the podium after receiving the Big C Most Improved Team GPA Award and the Golden Bear Team Award for the highest cumulative team GPA on campus. It marked the second year in a row the women's golf team won the Golden Bear Team Award. The winning cumulative GPA of 3.54 set a new Cal record, breaking the women's golf team's own mark that was set last year at 3.46.
Swimmer Catherine Breed took the Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award, given annually to a student-athlete for his or her outstanding contribution to community service. Hammed Suleman of the men's track team captured the Joseph M. Kavanagh Award as the most academically-improved student-athlete. Suleman also was the student speaker for the luncheon.
The following is a list of award-winners:
Golden Bear Team Award The Golden Bear Team Award is given to the varsity team with the highest cumulative grade-point average. This year's award, for the second consecutive year, goes to the women's golf team with a team GPA of 3.54.
Big C Most Improved Team Award This award, which goes to the team that has made the greatest improvement in the last year relative to its historical grade-point average, also goes to women's golf.
Tom Hansen Conference Medal The Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal is awarded annually at each member institution to that university's outstanding senior male and female student-athletes. The determination is based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Awards The Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Awards are given to the graduating male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point averages. The award was established by Cal Hall of Famer William Neufeld Sr. in honor and memory of his son, William Jr., who ran track at Cal before his untimely death in a boating accident.
Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships Created to honor outstanding scholar-athletes intending to pursue graduate studies and awarded by each Pac-12 institution, they include a $3,000 stipend for graduate work.
Oscar Geballe Postgraduate Scholarships This award was created through the generosity of Dr. Theodore Geballe to honor his father, Oscar Geballe. It recognizes Oscar Geballe's devotion to Cal and his strong belief in the value of combining scholarship and intercollegiate athletic competition. Since 1981, the Geballe award has helped more than 75 Golden Bears continue their education at the postgraduate level with a $5,000 stipend going to each winner.
Jake Gimbel Prize and Anna Espenschade Award The Jake Gimbel Prize and Anna Espenschade Award were established in the 1930s and 1987, respectively, to recognize a graduating male and female student-athlete for successful integration of academic and athletic pursuits. The winners of these awards exemplify the true "Golden Bear" spirit.
Joseph McDonnell Kavanagh Award This award, in its sixth year, recognizes the student-athlete who has made exceptional improvement in his or her academic and intellectual pursuits at Cal. The University's motto - Fiat Lux, "Let there be light" - is appropriate for this most academically inspirational athlete award.
Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award The Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award was created to honor Walter A. Haas Jr. for his commitment and service to the University and larger community. This award is given annually to a student-athlete for his or her outstanding contribution to community service.
Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year In its inaugural year, the Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award recognizes a football student-athlete who has dedicated himself to a holistic approach toward academic, athletic and persona development by demonstrating consistent daily routienes, persistent community outreach and collaborative leadership ability.