March 10, 2011

Three members of the Texas A&M women's swimming and diving team have received the inaugural Dr. Gerald Lage Award, which is the Big 12 Conference's highest academic honor.

Receiving the award were 2011 senior Emily Neal and Sarah (Woods) Stratton. Dodds just finished her A&M career with three top five finishes in the 200 breaststroke and the 200 and 400 IMs. Neal finished her career as the school record holder in the 400 IM (since broken) and Stratton was a five-time All-American and five-time Big 12 Champion. Both Neal and Woods were ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans during their careers.

"Emily, Sarah and Melanie have embodied what it means to be student-athletes from the moment they stepped on campus, and receiving the Dr. Gerald Lage Award adds to their prestigious list of accomplishments," said Texas A&M Senior Scholastic Supervisor Chris Barttelbort, who oversees academics for the women's swimming and diving team. "The bar is set extraordinarily high to qualify for this honor, but they are extraordinary young women. They have represented Texas A&M on grand stages nationally and internationally as competitors while always keeping academic success and achievement as their first priority."

In order to be eligible for the accolade, student-athletes must have lettered at least once in their career while maintaining residence at their institution for at least one academic year. The honoree, which can only be recognized once, should have 100 hours of earned credit with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.80 at the time of nomination.

The honor is in memory of Lage, who served as the OSU faculty athletics representative with the NCAA and the Big Eight/Big 12 Conference from 1983 until his death in 2007. He was the chairman on three occasions, in 1985-86, 1993-94 and most recently in 2003-04.

Lage had been a member of the Oklahoma State family since 1966, when he joined the College of Business Administration as an assistant professor. During his tenure at OSU, he served as the director of graduate studies in the department of economics (1974-77), head of the department of economics and finance (1978-84), director of the OSU Center for International Trade and Development (1985-87), and associate dean for research and graduate programs in the college of business administration (1997-2004).