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ASU awarded for fostering excellence among student-athletes

May 13, 2015
portrait of ASU faculty athletics representative Jeffrey Wilson
Jeffrey Wilson

Jeffrey Wilson understands the importance academics plays in athletics.

“We prepare them to be champions for life,” said Wilson, who serves as the faculty athletics representative at Arizona State University.

“Long after the touchdown judge throws his or her hands in the air, or the referees signal continuation for the basket, or the umpire says he was in, [the athletes] need to continue with life. A degree goes a long way to keeping them playing successfully in the game of life,” Wilson said. 

The National Football Foundation, in partnership with Fidelity Investments, presented Wilson with a commemorative plaque, and Arizona State University with $5,000, for efforts in fostering excellence among student-athletes – as exemplified by 2014 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Taylor Kelly. The $5,000 goes toward academic support services for student-athletes at the university.

The award was presented May 11 during a reception that was held at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.

“I accept this award as spokesperson for the group,” Wilson said. “The group led by President Crow and Dr. Christine Wilkinson, the continued upward trend of the athletics department led by Ray Anderson, the important student-support unit led by Jean Boyd and the great collective support of the faculty willing to see student-athletes and students in general at Arizona State excel and compete with anyone at all levels.”

Ray Anderson, ASU vice president for university athletics, praised Wilson's work.

“We are thrilled that our faculty athletics representative Jeffrey Wilson has been recognized for his outstanding contributions by the National Football Foundation,” Anderson said. “Jeffrey has been exemplary in ensuring academic achievement and has always been an outstanding leader relative to supporting student-athlete graduation. I can think of no one more deserving of such an award.”

A professor at ASU since 1985, Wilson has served as the university’s faculty athletics representative since 2004, working to support the academic progress and success of Arizona State's student-athletes and helping monitor compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.

Wilson has served the university in a variety of capacities, including as director of the Data Management and Biostatistics Core, and director of the School of Health Management and Policy for the W. P. Carey School of Business.

ASU was represented in the 2014 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Class by Taylor Kelly, who maintained a 3.31 GPA as an education major. He was named the 2014 Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and he received the Sun Devils’ Pat Tillman Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and Frank Kush Captains Award. Kelly graduated from ASU in May 2014 and is working toward a master’s of legal studies with a focus in sports law and business.