NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— Rhode Island men's track & field standout Alexander McGrainer was one of 14 recipients of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference Postgraduate Scholarship recipients for 2017. A graduating student-athlete from each of the league's 14 members will receive the prestigious award.
McGrainer is a two-time member of the Atlantic 10 Indoor Track & Field Academic All-Conference teams in 2016 and 2017. He captured the 2017 Atlantic 10 indoor title in the 1,000-meter run and is the school record holder in the event, clocking 2:25.20 this past January. He was also part of two New England Championship 4x800-meter relay teams. McGrainer is a double major in marketing and communication studies. He will receive $5,000 to contribute towards full-time enrollment in a postgraduate or professional program.
Designed to provide graduating student-athletes the opportunity to continue their education, the program awards $70,000 in scholarship funding to former A-10 student-athletes. This marks the third straight year the Atlantic 10 has provided the scholarships to 14 individuals, and over the past six years, the A-10's Postgraduate Scholarship program has awarded over $250,000 to 64 former student-athletes.
"Congratulations to each of these deserving young men and women," stated Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "The opportunity to provide for advanced education for this exemplary group is a part of the commitment our member institutions make toward the academic success of their student-athletes. This is a prestigious honor and we wish each of the honorees continued success with their postgraduate education."
The selection process, which involves the league's athletic directors, senior woman administrators and faculty athletic representatives, resulted in a class with an average GPA of 3.71. The class is comprised of 10 female student-athletes and four males, representing six different sports.
In each of the last three years, the average GPA of the honorees for the Postgraduate Scholarship Program has been 3.70 or higher. The program, which began honoring two student-athletes in 1991, has been so successful and well-received by both the recipients and the A-10 member institutions that it has expanded several times. The most recent expansion, which was adopted in January, 2015 and implemented that spring, now includes one representative from each A-10 school.
To be considered for the Postgraduate Scholarship, student-athletes must have performed with distinction both in the classroom and in their respective sports throughout their career, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. The postgraduate program expanded to four recipients in 1997 and then to 10 in 2014.
The Postgraduate Scholarship Program is part of the conference's broad-based commitment to student-athlete opportunities and academics. The conference consistently ranks at the top amongst all Division I Conferences in both Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and the Academic Progress Rate (APR) data released by the NCAA.
About the Atlantic 10 Conference
The Atlantic 10 Conference was founded in 1975 and consists of 14 diverse members across eight states and Washington, D.C. The mission of the Atlantic 10 is to provide an enhanced student-athlete experience through 21 nationally competitive championship sports. The basketball-centric conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for its student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The membership consists of Davidson College, the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph's University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, visit atlantic10.com.