OLIVET, Mich. - Olivet College's Mike Harden has received the Albert H. Deal Scholar-Athlete Award from the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The award honors former MIAA commissioner, Albert Deal (1971-91), and is selected from nominees who have excelled in academics and athletics, and who have displayed outstanding leadership qualities.
A native of St. Johns, Mich., and graduate of St. Johns High School, Harden was a four-year letterwinner in men's swimming for the Comets. He helped Olivet win three relays at the 2012 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and also swam on all five relays at the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championships. Harden and the rest of the 400-yard freestyle team became the first relay in school history to earn honorable mention All-American honors.
Harden holds the second-best time in school history in the 50-yard freestyle (:20.84), third-best time in the 100-yard freestyle (:46.59), and fourth-best time in the 100-yard butterfly (:52.10). He also swam a leg on four school record-setting relay teams - 200 freestyle (1:22.86), 400 freestyle (3:04.81), 800 freestyle (6:56.56) and 200 medley (1:32.31).
Harden, a double major in biology and environmental science, graduated summa cum laude from Olivet in May with a 3.96 grade point average (GPA). He received the college's Donald A. Morris award, given each year to the top graduating students with the highest GPA. On campus, Harden was president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Comet Christian Fellowship, member of Omicron Delta Kappa, American Chemical Society, Washington Gladden Society, Sigma Zeta and Hosford Society of Scholars. he also participated in Olivet's Service Day activities all four years in school, as well as other community service projects in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Harden was a two-time selection to the Capital One Academic All-America® selection, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He was a third-team selection in 2011 and a first-team selection in 2012. Harden is also a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll recipient.
Since the inception of the Al Deal Award in 2003, Harden is the third Olivet student-athlete to receive the award. Swimmer Dustin Meisner earned the honor in 2008, and football player Travis Sleight was the recipient in 2006.
Harden is the son of Chuck and Rosanne Harden.