The award is the single highest individual award bestowed by the GWC and honors the outstanding academic achievement, athletic achievement, attitude and leadership of one male and one female student-athlete.
Anderson, a senior from Leeds, N.D., finished her outstanding career as a two-time All-GWC honoree in both indoor and outdoor track, and was named the 2011 GWC Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year and the 2010 GWC Cross Country Athlete of the Year. The communication sciences and disorders major recorded a 3.93 grade point average and was the runner-up in both the 5K and 10K races at the 2012 Great West Conference Outdoor Championships while placing second in the 3K and third in the 5K at the 2012 GWC Indoor Championships. Anderson ran the Great West's top 2012 time in the 5K at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays and was a Capital One Academic All-America® in both cross country and track as a senior.
Anderson is the fourth UND student-athlete, and second female, to win the award, joining softball and hockey player Casie Hanson (2009-10), football player Brandon Hellevang (2009-10) and track/cross country runner Josh LaBlanc (2010-11).
Burgess, an outfielder for the three-time GWC champion Wolverines is an exercise science major with a 3.85 cumulative GPA. The senior from Alpine, Utah, earned GWC Tournament MVP honors on the heels of being named a first-team all-conference selection. Burgess also was the first UVU athlete to receive Capital One Academic All-America® from CoSIDA in the school's NCAA Division I era, and he capped off his stellar career with All-America honors from CollegeBaseballInsider.com after hitting .396 with seven home runs, 16 doubles, 88 hits and 65 RBI for the season.
"I want to congratulate Billy and Lindsay on this prestigious award," said GWC Commissioner Ed Grom. "They each have excelled in their respective sports while finding a balance with their academic work. We had a very strong nomination pool from our member institutions and any one of the candidates would have been worthy of the award. The quality of student-athletes in the Great West is getting stronger and stronger each year."
To be eligible for the GWC Scholar-Athlete Award a student-athlete must be a junior or senior who has completed two seasons of athletic competition in a conference sponsored sport at a member institution and must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2. The student-athlete must display an examplary mental attitude toward his or her peers and academic and athletic mentors, including leadership, maturity, integrity and contributions to the community. Each institution can nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the award through its faculty athletics representative, and the honorees are determined by a vote of the member institutions.
Other athletes nominated for the award were Chicago State's Juan Rosalina Tejoprayitno (tennis) and Matt Jordan (track & field/cross country); Houston Baptist's Courtney Whittleman Brown (volleyball) and Jake Gonzalez (baseball); NJIT's Monika Graff (tennis) and Tripp Davis (baseball); North Dakota's Tyler Rose (track & field/cross country); Texas-Pan American's Sylvia Alboniga (track & field) and Andy Lopez (track & field/cross country); and Utah Valley's Sarah Clement (Volleyball).