DSU Tops SD Schools in Champions of Character
Dakota State University has claimed one of the top spots in the NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star awards along with being the highest ranked school in South Dakota. DSU is also the highest ranked of 29 institutions in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.).
There were 220 colleges and universities that received the Champions of Character Five-Star award. The Trojans moved up from top 30 (tied for 28th in 2009-10) to top 15 (tied for 13th in 2010-11). 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 also earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by obtaining zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.
Dakota State University sports programs and athletes have been involved in a variety of activities in the Madison community. They have participated in Habitat for Humanity projects, raised cancer awareness in the months of October and February at home contests in volleyball, football and basketball, participated in reading programs and tutoring with local schools, read the NAIA Champions of Character creed prior to each home DSU contest and many other activities that have earned points toward the award.
"The Champion of Character Program has really been embraced by both the coaches and student-athletes," said DSU Athletic Director, Gene Wockenfuss. "The program has drawn our community and student-athletes much closer together and we've notice increase attendance at our game contests."
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.