Spartan duo joins elite company as part of 102nd Big Ten Medal of Honor class

ROSEMONT, Ill. – As the Big Ten continues its celebration for the 102nd class of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Michigan State announced that Jack Allen of the football team and women’s gymnast Lisa Burt have been named the Spartans’ 2015-16 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients.

The Big Ten, the nation’s oldest collegiate conference, commemorates the 102nd anniversary of a very unique tradition – the Big Ten Medal of Honor. The conference’s most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” Big Ten schools currently feature more than 9,500 students competing in intercollegiate athletics, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In more than 100 years of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, almost 1,400 students have earned this distinction.

Allen, who was also named the recipient of the Chester Brewer Leadership Award, was a back-to-back first-team All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. He is one of 22 Spartans to earn four Academic All-Big Ten plaudits. The four-year starter on the offensive line was voted a co-captain by his teammates in 2015, and was one of 135 semifinalists for the National Football Foundation William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. Allen earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality business in Dec. 2015.

Burt was named Michigan State’s Most Valuable Gymnast for the second consecutive year in 2015-16, and capped off her career by earning an individual berth to the NCAA Championships. The two-time All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten selection finished fourth in the All-Around at the NCAA Regional and placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships. Burt earned 26 top-three finishes during her senior campaign. She earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in May.