Bluefield College has been named a “Five Star Institution” for its exemplary character and service by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
As part of its Champions of Character program, the NAIA, which boasts a proud reputation for promoting character values, along with competitive athletics, announced its 2009-2010 “Five Star Award” winners in October for member schools who scored 60 or more points on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard.
Launched by the NAIA in 2000, the Champions of Character program is designed to instill character values in sport and provide practical tools for student athletes, coaches and parents to use in modeling exemplary character traits.
The program emphasizes five core values — integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership — and student-athletes at respective member institutions are expected to exhibit these character values in competition and to model service and character on campus and in the community.
The Champions of Character Scorecard was crafted to convert the NAIA’s vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven athletics. Members schools that score highest on the scorecard are deemed “Five Star Institutions.”
“I am proud of our student athletes and the effort they have made this past year to be engaged with and in the surrounding community through their service,” said BC President David Olive. “While being recognized as a Champion of Character is nice, our primary focus is on our student-athletes and helping inculcate a spirit of service that they carry with them for life.”
Institutions are measured and earn points on the Champions of Character Scorecard by their commitment to the Champions of Character program as demonstrated in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion. For example, student-athletes earn points for excellent grade point averages and for zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.
“Our Athletic Department is very intentional about character development and serving the campus and community both on and off the playing field,” said BC Athletic Director Peter Dryer. “Our student-athletes have done some great things this past year, and I am very proud of their efforts to earn a Five Star Champions of Character distinction for Bluefield College.”
Five Star Award recipients will be recognized on the NAIA Champions of Character website, and will receive a special web banner and certificate noting the honor. In addition, the schools will be recognized at the 70th Annual NAIA National Convention in April 2011.
“It is rewarding to see NAIA colleges, universities and conferences taking a leadership role in the NAIA’s mission to advance character-driven athletics,” said Jim Carr, president of the NAIA. “With significant focus on using athletics as a vehicle to teach life lessons, there is no doubt we will have a positive impact on our 60,000 student-athletes. That distinction sets us apart, and I’m very proud of that.”