Feb. 4, 2010

NCAA Release

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. –
Ten NCAA® student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice were tabbed as finalists today for the 2009-10 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the hockey division. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition.  

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 20 candidates who were announced in October.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award™ winner in April at the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four® in Detroit, Michigan.

The 2009-10 finalists are: Jean-Marc Beaudoin, Quinnipiac University; Cody Chupp, Ferris State University; Matt Fairchild, United States Air Force Academy; Colin Greening, Cornell University; Dion Knelsen, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Martin Nolet, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Garrett Raboin, St. Cloud State University; Rhett Rakhshani, University of Denver; Dan Ringwald, Rochester Institute of Technology; and Eli Vlaisavljevich, Michigan Technological University.

These 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award hockey ballot for a nationwide vote beginning today and concluding March 16. Fan balloting is available on the award’s official Web site, http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text HOCKEY to 74567 to vote for the finalists. These votes will be combined with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.

“The hockey finalists have spent almost four years perfecting their game on the ice,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “We commend their pursuit of perfection in the rink but also their emphasis on getting a college degree and preparing for life after their senior year.”

This marks the fourth year for the ice hockey division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Michigan State University goaltender Jeff Lerg received the award for the 2008-09 season and Princeton University center Landis Stankievech took home the 2007-08 honor. In 2006-07, University of Notre Dame goaltender David Brown won the inaugural men’s hockey award.

ABOUT THE AWARD

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition.  The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring. 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 program has expanded the past two years to include a total of nine NCAA® Division I sports – football, 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. The award is sponsored by Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA®, and managed by Premier Sports Management.  For more information, visit www.seniorCLASSaward.com.

ABOUT LOWE’S

With fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,675 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

ABOUT THE NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association.