Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 14:00

2017 Valedictorian Rachel Avard awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Assumption College women's cross country and track & field standout Rachel Avard '17, of Manchester, NH, has been awarded the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

The one-time scholarships of $7,500 are awarded for fall, winter and spring sports. Each sports season there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women, regardless of division, for use in an accredited graduate program. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in at least their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.

Rachel Avard NCAA Award

"Rachel has worked extremely hard in the classroom and in competition, and I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor," said Assumption College Director of Athletics Nick Smith. "We wish her the best of luck at Columbia University where we know she will continue to represent Assumption in the highest possible fashion."

A Chemistry major, Avard graduated in May with a 3.93 GPA and was selected as the 2017 Assumption College valedictorian. She will attend Columbia University in the fall, where she will pursue a doctorate in chemistry. While at Assumption she was involved in Assumption Peers Advocating for Wellness, Food and Auxiliary Committee, Honors Program Council and was a member of SAAC. Avard also has been named Academic All-Conference for seven straight seasons and was selected to the Dean's List every semester of College.

At the conclusion of the spring season, Avard was awarded with the NE10 Conference Woman of the Year, and is now nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year.

Athletically, Avard captained the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track programs. In cross country she helped the team take second at the NE10 Championships and then second at the East Regional, to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history. Avard also holds the second-fastest time in the 3000 meter steeplechase in program history and placed sixth in the event at the 2017 NE10 Outdoor Championships. Over the course of her career she has helped the cross country and track and field program from one of the worst in the region to taking second in the NE10 cross country championships and third in the NE10 Outdoor Championships this year. Last fall she was named the Women's Cross Country Scholar Athlete Sports Excellence winner and has twice been named CoSIDA Academic All-District.

Avard is the 18th student-athlete from Assumption to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews