Irving, Texas (April 23) -- Twelve members of the MIT football team were recently named by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) to the 2019 NFF Hampshire Honor Society. The honor society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers.
In its 13th year, an all-time high of 1,643 players from a record 424 schools qualified for membership in the Society in 2019.
MIT is one of 22 schools that have at least 10 honorees in 2019 and one of just two in the NEWMAC as the Engineers joined Springfield College on the list.
On the field, MIT finished the season at 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the league as the Engineers captured the NEWMAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in league history.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program by greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes at the 778 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.
Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his or her achievement.
"It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 13 years," said Hanson. "Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they are going on to become great leaders. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society continues to grow and allows us to shine a light on their hard work."
"We have honored more than 10,000 student-athletes in the last 13 years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."
Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must have:
- Completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2018;
o Graduated players, who have remaining eligibility but will not return to collegiate play (e.g. declared for NFL Draft or retired from football), may also be nominated.
- Achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study;
- Met all NCAA- or NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements; and
- Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2018 season.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents an important component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal, which began in 1959 with the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Launched with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $11.5 million to 854 top scholars and community leaders.
Selected in the fall, each recipient of an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Additionally, The William V. Campbell Trophy® is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The winner of the Campbell Trophy® receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.3 million.