KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 11/25/2008 - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that 199 colleges and universities were named Champions of Character institutions for the 2007-08 school year. Union University was again found among those listed.
The total number of member institutions recognized shows a 20% increase from 2006-07. These institutions share the NAIA’s commitment to high standards and to the principle that participation in athletics serves as an integral part of the total education process.
Also during the 2007-08 season, Union’s Lady Bulldog basketball team was awarded the Buffalo Funds Five Star Team Award. This award goes promotes institutions and athletic programs striving for excellence in and out of competition and are part of communities throughout the country dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The Union men’s soccer team also earned the Five Star Award in 2005.
The mission of Champions of Character is to restore character values and raise a generation of students who understand and demonstrate in everyday decisions respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. The NAIA and member institutions use the Champions of Character program to instill an understanding of character values in sport, and provide student-athletes, coaches and parents the training to help them know and do the right things, inside and outside the sports setting.
“Champions of Character has a profound impact on student-athletes, coaches and in the communities the NAIA and member institutions serve. I am delighted to see an increase in the number of schools that use the program to intentionally teach character,” said Rob Haworth, NAIA Vice President for Champions of Character. “Champions of Character uses the power of sport to teach lessons for life. I applaud these institutions for their commitment to advance character-driven intercollegiate athletics.”
The program is dedicated to the principle that character is a choice and that being a champion is not just about winning, but making good decisions consistently in daily life. To be considered a Champions of Character institution, schools must complete a form which is later reviewed by a team directed by Haworth. These institutions must demonstrate how the campus incorporates the Champions of Character program in five specific areas: athletic contests, public service projects, established policies related to behavior in practice and game situations, athletic and academic environment and character education.
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