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Securing An Academic Future

February 6, 2020
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Securing An Academic Future
Kent And Pat Newmark Endow The Newmark Awards In Perpetuity

BERKELEY – Since 2007, Pat and Kent Newmark have been rewarding Cal's athletic teams for academic success.

They now have made sure that tradition will last forever.

The Newmarks have made a $1 million gift to Cal Athletics to endow the Newmark Awards in perpetuity. The awards are given annually to the athletic programs on campus with the highest cumulative grade point average in different categories. Each winning team earns a grant to include in the program's operating budget.

"We're not getting any younger, so we decided to endow it in perpetuity and won't have to worry about it," said Kent Newmark, who graduated from Cal in 1960 after competing in tennis and track and field for the Golden Bears. "Both of us have always felt that academics and athletics are a very important part of college life. This is a way to combine them."

The Newmarks, who have been honored as Builders of Berkeley, are long-time supporters of Cal Athletics. Some of their generous leadership gifts have recently focused on the men's and women's tennis and golf programs, as well as Cal softball.

The Newmark Awards were originally established to honor the top academic male and female team on campus, along with the most improved, with a grant. The program was expanded in 2018 to reward a large team and small team from each gender.

"Kent and Pat have set a phenomenal example regarding the important role academics play in shaping post-collegiate success," Cal football coach Justin Wilcox said. "Winning last year's Newmark Award for most improved team GPA meant a lot to each player in our program. We are proud of the progress we have made in the classroom and on the field, and will continue to place an emphasis on well-rounded success at Cal."

Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton's enthusiasm was one of the reasons Kent and Pat were inspired to endow the awards.

"The importance of this award was really magnified when Jim took over," Kent Newmark said. "He seemed to acknowledge how important it was. He's been a force behind the enthusiasm of the coaches and student-athletes. It's a credit to him. Without his impetus, we may not have endowed the award."

"We are incredibly grateful to Kent and Pat for their unwavering support of Cal Athletics and for their commitment to endow the Newmark Awards – inspiring current and future Golden Bears to strive for greatness in the classroom and in athletics," Knowlton said. "Academic excellence for our programs will be connected to the Newmark family for generations to come."

Past Newmark Award winners have utilized the financial grant for such things as unique team-building activities or program-specific needs that wouldn't otherwise be possible. The Newmarks have also spent time visiting with the winning teams and getting to know coaches and student-athletes.

"Kent and Pat have set the bar high for academic and athletic excellence at Cal, which supports my goal of challenging our student-athletes to be the best they can be in the classroom and in the pool," said Cal women's swimming & diving head coach Teri McKeever, whose team won the Newmark Award for female large teams last year. "The financial incentive that comes with the award has provided team-building experiences that have helped shape our championship culture."

The Newmarks said they have heard from various Cal coaches that winning the award has become a source of internal competition among Golden Bear athletic programs.

"As we started hanging around the athletes more and more, we realized how much effort they put into everything they do," Pat Newmark said. "Cal has such a fine reputation academically, and they maintain not only that, but strive so hard to excel at their sport, too. We really stand in awe of all the student-athletes. We think they're the best."

Discussion from...

Securing An Academic Future

4,496 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by 91Cal
01Bear
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If Cal had an academic decathlon team, it would probably take the award every year.

I am interested to see which programs will end up winning the award.
75bear
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Awesome - thank you Pat and Kent!
Chabbear
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2018-19:
Men's Large Team - Cal Crew
Women's Large Team - Cal Women's Swimming & Diving
Men's Small Team - Cal Men's Golf
Women's Small Team - Cal Cross Country/ Track and Field
Most Improved Team - Cal Football

The 2017-18 winners are as follows:
  • Men's Large Team Crew (3.119)
  • Women's Large Team Swimming & Diving (3.429)
  • Men's Small Team Soccer (3.301)
  • Women's Small Team Beach Volleyball (3.357)
  • Most Improved Men's Water Polo
01Bear
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Chabbear said:

2018-19:
Men's Large Team - Cal Crew
Women's Large Team - Cal Women's Swimming & Diving
Men's Small Team - Cal Men's Golf
Women's Small Team - Cal Cross Country/ Track and Field
Most Improved Team - Cal Football

The 2017-18 winners are as follows:
  • Men's Large Team Crew (3.119)
  • Women's Large Team Swimming & Diving (3.429)
  • Men's Small Team Soccer (3.301)
  • Women's Small Team Beach Volleyball (3.357)
  • Most Improved Men's Water Polo


That's awesome! Thanks for that! Also, I'm glad to see the football team appears to be improving its GPA under Coach Wilcox.
91Cal
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Terrific to see this award and, as importantly, to see it hyped.

Given the profile student athlete that is best suited to Cal and the campus environment, it seems a no brainer that we should be hyping the academic achievements the student athletes in as many ways possible. Demonstrating that there are Bear Backers supporting the student athletes and their achievements in the classroom and on the field takes away the biggest negative recruiting that our rivals have.

Fixing the overall IA revenues is a process that needs both a solid foundation and sustained improvement and demonstrated success on the field. The program that is most important for this is Football, which appears to be addressing both of these.

As was discussed in a separate thread, being in the Rose Bowl hunt will enable much pent up enthusiasm that will have a spillover effect to other sports...actually reaching a Rose Bowl and the CFP/other top bowls (don't even know what they're called anymore now that they are not on New Year's Day anymore) will certainly address the budget woes.

Then we just need to have the discipline to not overreach...but I might be getting ahead of myself (a bit)!
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