The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Monday that Gustavus Adolphus senior swimmer Dave Pearson has been named one of 29 men’s winter sport recipients of a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Pearson, a two-time All-American as a member of the 800 free relay team, maintains a 4.0 gpa with a major in chemistry. He will attend medical school next fall at either the University of Minnesota or Washington University in St. Louis.
Pearson, a native of Woodbury, Minn., who graduated from Stillwater High School, has been a four-year letterwinner for the Gusties and he was selected by his teammates as a captain this past season. A versatile performer, Pearson swam the 100 and 200 yard freestyle and the 200 yard individual medley for the Gusties. He was also a part of several relay teams including the 800 yard free relay that finished first at the MIAC Championships in both 2008 and 2009 and went on to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Championships with a sixth place finish in 2008 and an eighth place finish in 2009. The 2008 800 free relay team set the conference and school record with a time of 6:44.64. Pearson earned All-Conference honors by finishing in the top three in an individual event or relay seven times during his career. He was a key part of teams that won MIAC Championships in 2006 and 2008 and finished second in 2007 and 2009.
Since the start of the 2004-05 academic year, Gustavus ranks third for the most postgraduate scholars among all NCAA schools (Division I, II, III). Stanford University has the most postgraduate scholars with 28, followed by Emory with 24 and Gustavus with 15. Gustavus has had a total of 25 student athletes receive NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships since football player James Goodwin became the first in 1974.
The NCAA awarded 58 postgraduate scholarships of $7,500 each to 29 male student-athletes and 29 female student-athletes from all three divisions (I, II, and III) who participated in winter sports. Those sports included men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s rifle, men’s and women’s skiing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, women’s archery, women’s bowling, women’s squash, women’s team handball, and men’s wrestling.
To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.200 (on a 4.000 scale) or its equivalent and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a graduate student.