Inside Athletics

Recognizing Lumberjack Student-Athletes

Lumberjack student-athletes excel on and off the field of competition. In addition to boasting the highest graduation rate in the state of Arizona, NAU student-athletes average over a 3.0 GPA. Many of the most competitive departmental awards recognize student-athletes whose academic achievements rank amongst the best on campus. Listed below are academic awards offered by the department and by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).


NAU Athletics Golden Eagle Award

Sponsored by the Clements family for over 35 years, Golden Eagle recipients earn a 3.00 cumulative grade-point-average or above. An annual reception recognizes these scholars, as well as advisors, faculty and administrators who have contributed to their success.

Big Sky Conference Scholar Athlete Award

Student-athletes are selected by their institution based upon athletic and academic performance during the academic year. To qualify for the award, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2, be a member of the graduating class and/or have completed their last year of intercollegiate athletic eligibility, have completed at least two years of intercollegiate competition at the institution, and be a letterwinner.

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.

NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship

The NCAA awards 13 scholarships to ethnic minorities and 13 scholarships to female college graduates who will be entering their initial year of postgraduate studies. The applicant must be seeking admission or have been accepted into a sports administration or other program that will help the applicant obtain a career in intercollegiate athletics, such as athletics administrator, coach, athletic trainer or other career that provides a direct service to intercollegiate athletics.

Jim McKay Scholarship

In 2008, the National Collegiate Athletic Association established the Jim McKay Scholarship Program as a means of recognizing the immense contributions and legacy of pioneer sports journalist Jim McKay. Under this program, one male and one female student-athlete are annually awarded a $10,000 scholarship in recognition for outstanding academic achievement and potential to make a major contribution in the sports communication industry. McKay scholars will be recognized as having demonstrated a unique aptitude and commitment to the communications field and promises to be a future leader in the industry. McKay scholars also will demonstrate the highest level of professional integrity, including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability, with the element of compassion that so infused McKay's long and storied career. Must have 3.50 or better and be enrolled in a graduate program at a NCAA member institution.

The National Consortium for Academics and Sports Giant Steps Award

Giant Steps Awards recognize individual student-athletes, professional athletes, civic leaders, and other individuals, who exemplify the ideals of balancing academics, athletics, life pursuits and giving back to the community through the spirit of athletics. You may nominate any person whom you feel has contributed to sport as it relates to our society, including nationally renowned figures or local heroes.