May 24, 2008



Nation’s Premier Award for Seniors Presented at NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships

(Boston, MA) – Syracuse University attack and team captain Mike Leveille has been selected as the winner of the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s lacrosse division. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented annually to college lacrosse’s outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete.

The announcement and trophy presentation was made today by Lowe’s, an official NCAA corporate sponsor, during the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships at Gillette Stadium in Boston, Massachusetts. This marks the second year for the men’s lacrosse division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Matt McMonagle of Cornell University was the inaugural winner in 2007.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has grown into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including excellence in the classroom, character and community, as well as the candidate’s performance on the field.

“I would like to thank Lowe’s and its partners for presenting me with this award,” said Leveille. “With all of the worthy finalists, it is truly an honor to be named the winner. I’m very appreciative to everyone that voted for me and I take great pride in receiving this award. I try to approach school and my work in the community with the same intensity that I do lacrosse because it means a lot to me to be considered a well-rounded person and not just as an athlete.”

As one of five finalists for the 2008 Tewaaraton Trophy, Leveille has put together an outstanding season on field, scoring 43 goals and turning in 30 assists to lead the team with a total of 73 points. He has recorded at least one point in 55 straight games, currently the second longest current streak in NCAA Division I lacrosse and the fourth-longest streak in school history. He has scored multiple points in every game during the 2008 season including seven six-point games. For his career, Leveille is ranked 12th in school history in goals with 126, 13th in assists with 79 and is tied for 13th in scoring with 205 points.

The winner of Syracuse’s prestigious Soladay Award recognizing athletic and academic achievements, community service and leadership, Leveille carries a 3.8 GPA in accounting and is very involved in the Orange’s community activities. He received his bachelor’s degree on May 11 and was named to the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll during each of his semesters on campus. Starting in the fall, Leveille will be working with KMPG in New York.

Leveille participates in a variety of community service activities, including working with the Syracuse Meals on Wheels program and volunteering at local youth lacrosse clinics. In his role as team captain, he helps to organize the team’s community efforts including visits to local elementary schools.

“The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is a prestigious award within collegiate athletics because it focuses on the total student-athlete,” said Bob Gfeller, senior vice president of marketing and advertising at Lowe’s. “Nationwide, talented athletes compete every day, but Lowe’s believes those individuals who are equally dedicated in the classroom and in their communities make the real difference with their abilities. Lowe’s salutes Mike, a true student-athlete, for using his platform in athletics to make an impact on those around him and congratulates him for being the 2008 award winner in lacrosse.”

The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award also names an All-Senior All-America Team each year based on voting results of the finalists. Joining Leveille on the 2008 First Team is: Craig Massie, Army; Brad Ross, Duke; Ben Rubeor, Virginia and Paul Rabil, Johns Hopkins. The second team includes Pat Grimm, Yale; Michael Corbolotti, Cornell; Fletcher Gregory, North Carolina; Danny Nathan, Cornell and Tommy Scherr, Delaware.

Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award was inspired by the remarkable story of former Duke star Shane Battier, who could have been an NBA lottery pick but returned to college for his senior season, led the Blue Devils to the NCAA national championship in 2001 and earned his degree.

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, expanded the Senior CLASS Award program in 2007 to include NCAA Division I men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball and softball in addition to men’s and women’s basketball.

“Recognizing the many achievements of student-athletes is a goal the NCAA proudly shares with our corporate partner Lowe’s,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA Senior Vice President for Basketball and Business Strategies. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award places a spotlight on the quality attributes of our future student-athlete graduates. The NCAA is proud to honor student-athlete leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to excel on the field of competition while they earn their degrees.”