DWU Athletics named Five-Star Champions of Character; earns highest honor with perfect score

DWU Athletics named Five-Star Champions of Character; earns highest honor with perfect score

MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University athletic department is excited to announce that it has been named a Five-Star Champions of Character Institution, it was announced by the NAIA on Monday. The award is an honor scorecard based on character, academics, conduct, awards and community service.

 "We couldn't be more proud to receive this honor from the NAIA," DWU Director of Athletics Jon Hart said. "Our coaches, student-athletes and staff work extremely hard to represent the values of the NAIA to the highest level in the classroom, community and on the playing fields. This recognition is a direct reflection of those efforts."

 According to a press release by the NAIA, each year NAIA schools use a scorecard to measure the pursuit of character-driven athletics. If a school scores a minimum of 60 points out of 100, it is named a Five-Star Institution. Within the award, there are distinction levels which are based on how many points an institution earns. The DWU athletic department achieved gold status with a perfect score of 100.

 Throughout the NAIA, 183 institutions earned the Five-Start Institution Award. Also, 18 conferences earned the prestigious award, including the Great Plains Athletic Conference which DWU is a member of.

 Within the NAIA there were only 14 schools that achieved a perfect score. They were: Dakota Wesleyan University, Eastern Oregon University, Evangel University, Gran View University, Hannibal-LaGrange University, Lindsey Wilson College, Menlo College, Midway University, Milligan College, Ohio Christian University, Pacific Union College, Southwestern College, St. Ambrose University and Thomas University.

 There was a new measure added to the scorecard this year according to the NAIA. A school had an opportunity to use a teachable moment which offset a certain penalty whether it be ejection, profanity or dissent.

 Earlier this year, 14 DWU athletic programs earned NAIA Scholar Team honors and the football team had the second-highest GPA in the NAIA. 

 "The Champions of Character designation reflects the outstanding commitment of our students and coaches to exemplifying our commitment to academic excellence, leadership, service and integrity in actions - both on and off the field," DWU President Amy Novak noted. "We have long recognized the value of athletics in learning critical life skills, and this designation confirms Wesleyan's commitment to running programs that invest in developing the whole person. I am absolutely proud of what this says about our students and our entire athletic department."

 NAIA press release: http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=700608&SPID=117008&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=211160835&DB_OEM_ID=27900