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KSC Named ECAC Jostens Institution of the Year

CAPE COD, Mass., 8/2/2005 - The Commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), Phil Buttafuoco, has announced that Keene State College has been selected as the 2005 ECAC Jostens Institution of the Year. This award is presented annually to the ECAC institution that best exemplifies the highest standards of collegiate academics and athletic performance.

The award will be presented at the ECAC Convention Honors Dinner sponsored by Jostens on Sunday, September 25 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hyannis Resort. It is given in conjunction with Jostens, the presenting sponsor of the ECAC Honors Dinner, and Jim Dougher, Jostens National Sports Manager and long-time friend and supporter of the ECAC.

“The Keene State College athletic program is a significant point of pride for us all. To reach this level has taken a great deal of work by a remarkable group of coaches and hundreds of dedicated student-athletes, not to mention the many behind-the-scenes participants who give so much to the program,” said Keene State President Dr. Helen Giles-Gee. “We’re honored to join the distinguished sports programs who have won this award in years past, an honor that recognizes exemplary academic and athletic achievement. We are grateful to Jostens for providing this opportunity to celebrate excellence in such a visible way.”

“Since moving to Division III, Keene State has strived to have one of the top athletic programs in the country,” said Athletic Director John Ratliff. “The fact that we are receiving an award of such stature proves we are headed in the right direction.”

Keene State was the leader in New England public Division III institutions in the NACDA Cup for 2004-05. The institution has captured that distinction five of the past seven years and sponsors a comprehensive 18-sport intercollegiate athletics program. The Owls, who placed 34th in this year’s NACDA standings, compete in the Little East Conference (LEC) and are Division III members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

During the 2004-05 seasons, 16 of the 18 Keene State teams reached post-season tournaments. Owl teams qualified for ten NCAA tournaments (men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse, and softball), with the softball squad reaching the regional finals and the Owl men’s lacrosse team making its first-ever trip. Keene also sent three teams (men’s basketball, women’s lacrosse and baseball) to their respective ECAC tournaments, with women’s lacrosse advancing to the championship contest.

Keene State played in six Little East championship games, winning five times and capturing four regular-season titles. The Owls have won five consecutive Commissioner’s Trophies, emblematic of the top program in the conference.

The Owls produced six All-Americas, along with eight All-Region, 31 All-New England, 27 All-New England Division III, four All-ECAC, and 106 All-Little East student-athletes.

Keene State athletes approach their studies with the same enthusiasm they display on the field. In 2004-05, KSC had the distinction of having 168 student-athletes with a grade-point average over 3.0. These hard-working players make up more than 41 percent of the total participants in the varsity program. In addition, six teams had GPAs over 3.0 during the spring semester.

Minneapolis-based Jostens, founded in 1897, is a leading provider of products, programs and services that help people celebrate important moments, recognize achievements and build affiliations. The company’s products include yearbooks, class rings, graduation products, school photography and products for athletic champions and their fans.

The ECAC is the nation’s largest athletic and the only multi-divisional conference with 324 Divisions I, II, and III colleges and universities from Maine to North Carolina. Established in 1938, the ECAC, a non-profit service organization, sponsors 100 championships in 37 men’s and women’s sports, assigns more than 5,100 officials in 15 sports, administers ten affiliate sports organizations and six playing leagues and recognizes more than 4,000 student-athletes in 21 sports through the public relations arm of the conference. The ECAC serves as the primary conference for select members in the sports of men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s gymnastics, wrestling, fencing and rowing.

ECAC Jostens Institutions of the Year 1995 - Williams 1996 - Princeton 1997 - Middlebury 1998 - Princeton 1999 - Williams 2000 - Georgetown 2001 - Williams 2002 - Maryland 2003 - Harvard 2004

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435