WALTHAM, Mass. - Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Rudy Keeling has announced that Brandeis University has been selected as the 2007 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.
"This is a tremendous honor," Brandeis Director of Athletics Sheryl Sousa said. "The ECAC has held an important role in Brandeis athletics over the years, and we are proud to be a part of this respected organization. To be recognized for our success is a tribute to our dedicated staff of coaches and administrators."
In its third year under Sousa's leadership, Brandeis had one of its most successful athletic campaigns in school history. Four Brandeis teams reached the semifinals of ECAC Division III New England tournaments. The volleyball team, under head coach Michelle Kim, captured its first-ever ECAC crown to cap an undefeated home season. Head coach Mike Coven's men's soccer team won its second ECAC title in team history as the tournament's fourth seed.
The women's soccer team reached the ECAC semifinals for the fourth year in a row under head coach Denise Dallamora, while first-year head coach Jessica Johnson guided the Brandeis softball team to its first-ever tournament appearance.
The Brandeis fencing team excelled at the ECAC-affiliated Intercollegiate Fencing Association championships. Coach Bill Shipman's men's epee squad captured the Judges' first-ever weapon championship and the Brandeis men placed fourth, behind three Division I programs, while the women topped Division III programs in eighth place.
In addition to its ECAC success, Brandeis had an unprecedented basketball campaign in which both the men's and women's programs posted 20-win seasons in the same year. Fourth-year head coach Brian Meehan led the Brandeis men to the second round of the NCAA tournament in their first appearance in nearly 30 years, while Carol Simon's women's team turned in their fourth-straight 20 win season and also reached the NCAA second round.
In addition to its on-the-field success, Brandeis had 156 student-athletes named to the University Athletic Association All-Academic team and three members of the
College Sports Information Directors Association ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams. The Judges also had men's and women's swimming and diving teams and men's cross country teams selected to the academic honor rolls of their respective coaching associations.
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 318 Divisions I, II, and III colleges and universities from Maine to Georgia and westerly to Illinois. 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 14 sports, administers 10 affiliate sports organizations and seven playing leagues and recognizes more than 4,000 student-athletes in 20 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.
The ECAC Jostens Institution of the Year award will be presented to Sousa on Sunday, September 30 at the ECAC Honors Dinner at the Sheraton Hyannis Resort in Hyannis, Mass. Presenting the award will be Jim Dougher, Jostens National Sports Manager and long-time supporter of the ECAC.
ECAC Jostens Institutions of the Year All-Time Recipients
1995 - Williams College
1996 - Princeton University
1997 - Middlebury College
1998 - Princeton University
1999 - Williams College
2000 - Georgetown University
2001 - Williams College
2002 - University of Maryland
2003 - Harvard University
2004 - Williams College
2005 - Keene State College
2006 - New York University
2007 - BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY