Law school-bound Denver senior Levin wins first-ever NCHC Post-Graduate Scholarship

Gabe Levin is wrapping up his on-ice career at Denver, but will enter law school in the fall of 2016 (photo: Candace Horgan).

Denver senior forward Gabe Levin has been named the inaugural recipient of the NCHC Post-Graduate Scholarship.

Levin boasts a 3.96 GPA while majoring in finance with a minor in legal studies. He is a two-time NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team member and a three-time NCHC Academic All-Conference honoree. He is also one of only two finalists for the NCHC’s 2015-16 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The assistant captain on the ice is scheduled to graduate from Denver’s Daniels College of Business this June, before enrolling in law school in September.

Entering his senior season, Levin had not missed a game since the third game of his freshman season. Heading into a series at North Dakota Dec. 4-5, Levin had played in 129 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NCHC. However, he was scheduled to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in Grand Forks on the morning of Dec. 5 after missing an earlier opportunity to take the test. To show his dedication to his post-grad studies and to be well prepared for the test, he sat out the game against UND on Friday, Dec. 4 so he could get a good night’s rest, which snapped his consecutive games played streak. After taking the test the next morning (and scoring in the 99th percentile), he suited up for the Pioneers that night against the Fighting Hawks in the series finale, starting a new games played streak.

“Gabe is the embodiment of what a student-athlete should be,” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said in a statement. “He excels at everything he does and it’s been a privilege to coach him these last three years. He’s a great ambassador not just for Denver hockey, but for college hockey as a whole.”

In addition to his NCHC academic honors, Levin is the recipient of Denver’s Chancellor Scholarship, which is the highest merit-based academic award offered by DU. He is also a three-time Denver Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for having the top GPA in his class among male student-athletes, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team in 2013-14 and has earned both the Most Sportsmanlike Award and the Most Improved Player Award from his teammates during his Denver career. Levin has been an executive on Denver’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee the past few seasons and is the Pioneers’ representative on the NCHC’s SAAC, as well.

“Graduate school is a huge opportunity for me to pursue a passion that I developed while studying at the University of Denver,” added Levin. “At Denver, I have taken a variety of Legal Studies courses, which made me realize I wanted to pursue a career in law. After making this decision, I knew that law school was the only way for me to achieve this goal. For the past year, the time I have not spent on school and hockey has been dedicated to studying for the LSAT and working on my applications. I am very excited about the career opportunities that I will encounter in graduate school.”

The NCHC’s Post-Graduate Scholarship is funded by a grant from the El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs, which has also supported the NCHC by providing its office headquarters on the grounds of the Penrose House and helping cover the cost of the Penrose Cup. Levin’s 2016 scholarship award amount will be $7,500.

“The NCHC membership and Board of Directors are grateful to have the support of Mr. Bill Hybl and the entire El Pomar Foundation,” NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton said in a news release. “Celebrating student success should be paramount in a conference and on our campuses. We are honored and excited to provide the inaugural award to Gabe Levin, who excels in a balanced, co-curricular student-life at the University of Denver.”

To be eligible for the NCHC’s Post-Graduate Scholarship, the student-athlete must be a senior on the hockey team with at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA, who plans to continue his academic studies beyond his undergraduate degree. The recipient must enroll in a post-graduate school within three years of receiving the scholarship to collect the financial aid. The winner is chosen by a vote of the NCHC’s Faculty Athletics Representatives (FARs) from among the nominees submitted by each school’s FAR.

All of the remaining NCHC individual award winners, including Scholar-Athlete of the Year, will be announced Thursday night at the NCHC Awards Celebration at Muse Event Center in Minneapolis.