Union - Thu, Oct. 6, 2011
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Union is one of 220 colleges named a Champions of Character Five Star Institution by the NAIA, the national organization announced Wednesday.

Both of the conference (the Appalachian Athletic and Mid-South) Union participates in received the distinction of being named a Champions of Character Five Star Conference with the Appalachian Athletic Conference being one of only four leagues to have 100 percent of its members to be recognized as Five Star Institutions.

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 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 CharacterScorecard and conferences named to the list had at least 60 percent 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 toChampions of Characterand 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 percent of member institutions and all member conferences were named to the Five Star list. The AppalachianFrontierGulf Coast and TranSouth conferences landed in the top spot with 100percent of its member schools making the grade.

Five Star Award recipients will be recognized on the NAIAChampions of Characterwebsite, 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 programChampions of Character, which emphasizes the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. To learn more about the NAIAChampions of CharacterScorecard and Five Star Award visit

To view the complete list of the 2010‐2011 NAIA Champions of Character Five Star Institutions, click here.

Champions of CharacterFive 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.

About the NAIA
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is the governing body for athletics programs at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The long-held mission is to advance character-driven intercollegiate athletics while promoting the education and development of well-rounded students and productive citizens through sport participation. The association offers equitable access and opportunities to more than 60,000 student-athletes for the chance to compete in its 23 national championship events held annually throughout the country.

Today, the NAIA strengthens its commitment to student-athletes and strives to enrich their college experience by supporting academic achievement and character development. NAIAChampions of Characteris the association's innovative flagship program designed to instill character values in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the communities it serves. To learn more visit