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Union University recognized as a Champions of Character Institution by the NAIA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 10/5/2011 - Union University has once again been named to the NAIA’s Champions of Character list released Wednesday. Union also joins with all members of the TranSouth Conference to earn this award, making the TranSouth one of only four conference with all members being named to the list.

When it comes to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics, NAIA members are making the grade, according to results of the 2010-11 NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard released today by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The Association, which boasts a proud reputation as an arena that promotes competitive athletics, academic excellence and character values simultaneously, will recognize 220 colleges and universities and 23 conferences with the Champions of Character Five Star Award. To receive the award members scored 60 or more points on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard and conferences named to the list had at least 60% of its member schools making the grade with 60 or more points.

“In today’s complex college athletic environments – where success is sometimes only measured by wins and losses – strengthening effective athletic departments and leadership is key to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics,” said Kristin Gillette, NAIA Director of Champions of Character. “The Scorecard supports and recognizes member institutions and conferences using sport as a vehicle to teach life lessons. No doubt this is a point of differentiation in college athletics and making a huge impact on our 60,000 student-athletes.”

The Scorecard was crafted to convert the NAIA’s vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The initiative supports performance-driven athletics while defining expectations and standards that drive successful teams and athletics departments.

Institutions were measured based on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in each of the following categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by obtaining zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.

Over 80% of member institutions and all member conferences were named to the Five Star list. Colleges and universities landing in the top five spots include Cornerstone (Mich.) with 103 points, Montana Tech of the University of Montana with 97 points, Shawnee State (Ohio) with 94 points, Biola (Calif.) and Xavier (La.) each with 91 points and Oklahoma City and Saint Thomas Houston (Texas) rounding out the top five with 89 points apiece. The Appalachian, Frontier, Gulf Coast and TranSouth Conferences landed in the top spot with 100% of its member schools making the grade.

Five Star Award recipients will be recognized on the NAIA Champions of Character website, and receive a special web banner and certificate noting the honor. Presidents, athletics directors and conference commissioners at award winning colleges, universities or conferences also will be recognized at the 71st Annual NAIA National Convention in April.

The Scorecard process is based on the NAIA’s flagship program Champions of Character, which emphasizes the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. To learn more about the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard and Five Star Award visit www.ChampionsofCharacter.org. Kathy Busch, Champions of Character Coordinator, will distribute web banners and certificates to all award recipients. Please contact Kathy at kbusch@naia.org with any questions.

Champions of Character Five Star Conferences: American Mideast Conference; American Midwest Conference; Appalachian Athletic Conference; California Pacific Conference; Cascade Collegiate Conference; Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference; Frontier Conference; Golden State Athletic Conference; Great Plains Athletic Conference; Gulf Coast Athletic Conference; Heart of America Athletic Conference; Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference; Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference; Mid-Central College Conference; Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference; Mid-South Conference; Midwest Collegiate Conference; Red River Athletic Conference; Sooner Athletic Conference; Southern States Athletic Conference; The Sun Conference; TranSouth Athletic Conference; Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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