Eight Lions Gain a Spot in the National Football Foundation's 2011 Hampshire Honor Society
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK – Eight Columbia senior football players – Dan Cohen, Alex Gross, Nico Gutierrez, Marc Holloway, Nathan Lenz, Adam Mehrer, Matt Stotler and Augie Williams – earned a place in the National Football Foundation's 2011 Hampshire Honor Society, it was announced on Wednesday.  The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better.

The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $9.5 million to 740 top scholars and community leaders.

Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 15 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best.

Columbia linebacker Alex Gross was one of 16 national finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded to Texas lineman Sam Acho in 2010.  The trophy is named in honor of the Chair of the Columbia Board of Trustees Bill Campbell, a 1962 Columbia College graduate and captain of the Lions' 1961 Ivy League championship football team.

The National Football Foundation website has the complete list of the 2011 Hampshire Honor Society members.