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Bethany’s Foster Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

March 8 -BETHANY, W.Va.  – A year full of athletic and academic awards for Bethany College senior football player Johnathan Foster (Cumberland, Md./Fort Hill) continued this week when he was announced as one of 29 male student-athletes in the country to earn a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship worth $7,500.

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 in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.  The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. During each sports season (fall, winter and spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women.

7415Foster12.jpg Foster (right) is the first Bethany student-athlete to earn a Postgraduate Scholarship through the NCAA since 1991 when Denise Doster earned the award. A psychology major (human services track) with a GPA above 3.9 who has earned a spot on either the Dean’s List or President’s List for a 4.0 GPA every semester he’s been at Bethany, Foster is planning to attend law school next year after graduating from Bethany in May.

The impressive list of accolades already garnered by Foster this year includes being named Capital One First Team Academic All-American, the first Bison football player to earn the distinction since 2001. In September, he was named one of the 147 candidates and one of just 41 Division III players for the 2012 National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Awards and a semifinalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

On the field, Foster enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2012. He set a new Bethany single-season standard by catching 72 passes for 591 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Following the year, Foster was named Honorable Mention All-PAC, the first all-conference selection of his career. He completed his Bison career with 139 receptions, good for fifth all-time at the school, for 1,356 yards, 11th-most in BC history.

In addition to the honors he’s picked up this year, he is a member of three honor societies on campus, including Bethany’s prestigious Kalon Honor Society, which gives recognition to students of high character who have shown unselfish leadership within the College community. Foster also works on campus and in the community, as he has worked in the McCann Learning Center on campus as a tutor, volunteered for The Neighborhood Academy Summer program and worked as an undergraduate assistant to Bethany President Dr. Scott Miller for the last three years.

“Johnathan has served as a student associate in the Office of the President the past three years providing me a unique opportunity to observe his many talents on a regular basis,” said Dr. Miller. “He is a student-leader of significant note demonstrating self-motivation, reliability, and a caring personality in all that he does. Students like him emerge only once in a generation. The fact that he is a student-athlete makes his accomplishments even more noteworthy."

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the association’s most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated. In maintaining the highest standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship eligibility is restricted to student-athletes at NCAA member institutions who, in their final year of eligibility, have performed with distinction as members of varsity teams in the sport for which they were nominated. Nominees must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.2 (based on a 4.0 scale), be nominated by the faculty athletics representative or designee, and intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree and enroll in a graduate degree program on a part- or full-time basis at an academically accredited graduate or degree-granting professional school.

Johnathan is the son of Patricia Foster of Cumberland, Md.