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January 14, 2011

Spear and Caputo Recognized at the 2011 NCAA Honors Celebration

Portions Courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations & Brown Sports Information

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Former Columbia fencer Jeff Spear and former Brown field hockey and lacrosse standout Lisa Caputo were honored at the close of the 2011 NCAA Convention as part of the NCAA Honors Celebration on Friday evening. Spear was named one of 2011's eight Today's Top VIII Award winners, while Caputo was one of six former student-athletes to receive the 2011 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.

Jeff Spear
Following an incredibly successful career as a student-athlete at Columbia, the accolades continue to roll in for former fencing standout Jeff Spear.  Earning one of the top honors presented by the NCAA, Spear became the first Columbia student-athlete to receive the NCAA's Today's Top VIII Award.

The Today's Top VIII Award recognizes student-athletes who will have completed their athletics eligibility for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom and in the community.  The honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, which is composed of athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes.

The eight winners in addition to Spear include Amy Backel (Oklahoma, indoor/outdoor track and field), Zach Carr (Stevens Institute of Technology, soccer), Casie Hanson (North Dakota, ice hockey and softball), Dan Laurent (Wisconsin-La Crosse, wrestling), Greg McElroy (Alabama, football), Marcia Newby (Georgia, gymnastics) and Jessica Pixler (Seattle Pacific, cross country and track and field).

The 2008 NCAA Champion in men's sabre, Spear was the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Men's At-Large Academic All-American of the Year. An evolutionary biology of human species major with a 4.07 grade point average, Spear is a three-time All-American who also earned first team All-Ivy League honors three times.

He received the 2010 NCAA Elite 88 award for fencing, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships.  He was recently also chosen as the ECAC Division I Male Scholar Athlete.

Lisa Caputo
Former Brown field hockey and lacrosse standout Lisa Caputo '86 was named one of six former student-athletes as recipients of the 2011 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award that annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers.

Caputo joins a group that includes Teresa Edwards (Georgia), Joe Girardi (Northwestern), Tim Green (Syracuse), Bo Jackson (Auburn) and Scott Verplank (Oklahoma State).

Caputo currently serves as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Citi and is founder, chair and CEO of Citi's Women & Co., an organization designed to address the unique financial needs of women. Previously, Caputo served as deputy assistant to the President of the United States, press secretary to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and chief spokesperson for the First Family. She is a regular TV commentator.

Caputo graduated magna cum laude from Brown in 1986 as a Political Science and French concentrator.  She was a member of Brown's 1984 Ivy League champion field hockey team, while also playing lacrosse. Caputo was also a staff writer for the Brown Daily Herald.

She also received a graduate degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, graduating with a 4.0 grade-point average.