The trio of awards recognize the university’s athletic achievement, academic excellence and community involvement.
“The University of North Georgia is honored to be able to accept these three awards tonight,” Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves said. “The honors are a testament to our all-around commitment to success – on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
The Commissioner’s Cup, which is presented annually to the best overall athletic department based on regular-season standings and select championships, is the first-ever for the UNG athletic department. UNG’s previous best finish was third in 2015.
Last season, UNG earned regular-season conference championships in baseball and softball and several UNG teams finished their seasons ranked in the top five in the conference: women’s cross country team, second at the PBC championships; men’s soccer, tied for second; women’s soccer, tied for second; women’s track & field, third; women’s tennis, tied for fourth; and men’s tennis, fourth.
The LeeAnn Noble Make-A-Wish Award recognizes the institution that raises the most funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The award, given for the 2015-16 season, is the eighth-straight time UNG has won for most funds raised. The Nighthawks have hit the five-digit mark in giving for seven-straight years and remain the only PBC university to do so.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. The NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is the primary student-based group that contributes to policy-making for the division, established the Make-A-Wish partnership in 2003 and has since become one of the foundation’s largest and most consistent contributors.
The PBC Make-A-Wish awards were renamed the LeeAnn Noble Make-A-Wish Awards following Noble’s death in 2014. Noble was a member of the women’s golf team at UNG and former Make-A-Wish recipient who appeared on the cover of NCAA Champion Magazine in 2013.