WALLA WALLA, Wash. — As a capstone to a stellar academic and athletic career, Whitman College tennis player Christoph Fuchs has earned Academic All-America First-Team honors.

Christoph Fuchs

Fuchs, a four-year mainstay in the Whitman tennis lineup, graduated magna cum laude in late May with honors in his biology major.

The Academic All-America first, second and third teams, sponsored by ESPN The Magazine, are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Fuchs, who was part of three Northwest Conference (NWC) title teams at Whitman, is one of 17 student athletes voted to the men’s At-Large Team in the College Division.

The At-Large Team represents a number of sports, including tennis, swimming and golf, while the College Division includes all schools affiliated with NCAA Divisions II and III and the NAIA.

Whitman students have earned Academic All-America honors 10 times since the school began submitting nominations in 2003. Fuchs is the first Whitman athlete, however, to receive first-team recognition at the national level.

More than 30 Whitman athletes have received all-district honors in recent years.

Fuchs travels to Houston, Texas, later this summer to begin medical school studies at the Baylor College of Medicine, which is part of the Texas Medical Center, the largest such center in the world.

In his four seasons at Whitman, Fuchs was part of a men’s tennis squad that posted an overall win-loss record of 90-27, which included a 64-0 regular season mark against NWC teams. Whitman advanced to the NCAA Division III national championship tournament in each of those four seasons.

Fuchs made his share of contributions on the tennis courts, winning more than 100 career matches in singles and doubles.

“I want to say how thankful I am to my coach (Jeff Northam), teammates, Whitman athletics, and the Whitman faculty for a wonderful four years on the court and in the classroom,”; Fuchs said Monday. “I also want to say a special thank-you to my parents who sacrificed so much to help me achieve my goals.”

Valerie Fuchs and Dr. Axel Fuchs, who live in La Center, Wash., have home schooled each of their four children. Dr. Fuchs, a graduate of the medical school at Germany’s University of Dusseldorf, is an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Christoph Fuchs

Following his sophomore year at Whitman, Fuchs spent a summer as a volunteer nurse’s aide at a hospital in Offenburg, Germany. His work ranged from basic patient care to making rounds with doctors and observing surgeries.

A year later, Fuchs received funding from the Whitman Undergraduate Research program to assist with breast cancer research at the University of Lousiville’s Brown Cancer Center. His research that summer was the basis for his honors thesis on estrogen receptor protein modifications.

Fuchs was elected a year ago to Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society. While at Whitman, he volunteered at a local AIDS clinic and for the Friends of Walla Walla, a group that mentors at-risk youth.

Last month, Fuchs was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the Blue Mountain Sports Awards, an awards program for high school and college student athletes in the Walla Walla Valley. The awards program is run by the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin newspaper.

Fuchs was eligible for the Academic All-America Team based on his election earlier this spring to the Academic All-District First Team for 11 western states and British Columbia.

A year ago, following his junior season, Fuchs earned Academic All-District recognition and then was voted to the Academic All-America Third Team.

Fuchs is the second Whitman tennis player to earn Academic All-America honors in back-to-year years. Brad Changstrom ’05 earned third-team recognition as a junior and senior.

Last fall, following the most prolific soccer scoring season at Whitman in two decades, senior Corina Gabbert was voted to the Academic All-America Second Team.

Whitman is the top-ranked liberal arts and sciences college in the Northwest, according to the annual U.S. News and World Report survey of colleges and universities.

Since starting its program in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student athletes in all NCAA championship sports.

CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu