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Home - Fri, Sep. 8, 2017

The University of Saint Mary has been named a Five-Star Champions of Character institution with gold status by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), an award recognizing USM's dedication to excellent athletics and building outstanding student-athletes.

The program honors NAIA member institutions for instilling five core Champions of Character values in their student-athletes: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
 
According to the NAIA, member schools were graded on demonstrated commitment to the program—earning points in five categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion. Schools earned additional points based on exceptional student-athlete GPAs and no game ejections during the academic year.
 
Only 66 schools earned gold status this year—and Saint Mary was one of only four in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference to earn this top recognition.
 
"We're very proud of this honor from the NAIA," said USM Athletic Director Rob Miller. "This award speaks to the caliber of our student-athletes, and the efforts of our coaches to develop each athlete into a well-rounded adult. Our students come here to compete in their sport at a very high level, but ultimately, each one comes here to build a future."
 
Launched over a decade ago, the Champions of Character program was built to monitor schools' progress toward advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The initiative supports performance-driven athletics while defining expectations and standards for successful teams and athletics departments.
 
Saint Mary has 18 varsity sports programs—football, volleyball, baseball, softball, and men's and women's basketball, soccer, lacrosse, cross country, track & field, wrestling, and cheer & dance. Go to GoSpires.com for more information on USM sports.
 
Visit ChampionsofCharacter.org for more information on the NAIA program.