Hi. I'm Mike O'Brien, vice-president and athletic director at the University of Toledo.
At UT, we are fortunate to have some of the finest student-athletes in the country competing at our University. No matter the season, our Rockets thrive at the highest level of collegiate competition. Many of you watch our Rockets on TV, or follow their achievements in the local, or sometimes even national, media.
But you may be less aware of the student side of the student-athlete equation. The reality is that about one percent of our student-athletes will compete professionally in their sport at some point in their life, while the other 99 percent will move on to other professions outside of the world of sports. But whatever their career path, there is no doubt that their most important work will always take place in the classroom. All of more than 370 student-athletes carry full academic loads, and we are proud to say that our graduation rate is among the very best in the nation. Recently, we announced the overall grade point average for our student-athletes, and I'm proud to say that once again our departmental GPA was over a 3.2. This was the fifth time in the past five years that our student-athletes have had a semester GPA over 3.2, and the 16th consecutive semester with at least a 3.1. Amongst our peers in the Mid-American Conference, the University of Toledo stands out. Four times in the past five years, UT has won the MAC Institutional Achievement Award for the highest GPA in the league.
So the next time you attend a Rocket football game or basketball game, or any one of our 16 varsity sports, remember that the Rockets you are cheering are actually doing their most important work in the classroom. And that is something that should make all of us in Rocket Nation very proud.
See you at the Game, and go Rockets!