For the second straight year, the La Sierra University Golden Eagles athletic program has achieved NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star status. La Sierra was one of the 217 NAIA institutions that were named to this prestigious list, which was released late yesterday afternoon. The Golden Eagles have been members of the NAIA for the past three years and were not allowed to qualify for "Five-Star" status during their first year of membership, in 2010-11. Of the three Seventh-day Adventist institutions, that are members of the NAIA, La Sierra was the only one to be named a Five-Star Champions of Character Institution.
Each year, since 2002, the NAIA has recognized institutions as Champions of Character Institutions or Five-Star Champions of Character Institutions (since 2010). Institutions gain "Five-Star" status by scoring at least 60 points on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard. This year, over 80 percent of the NAIA membership reached "Five Star" status.
La Sierra scored a total of 67 points on the Champions of Character scorecard, which has been the national scoring average the last two years (67.55). Oklahoma Baptist University was the top-scoring "Five-Star" Institution, with an impressive total of 99 points.
The Golden Eagles new athletic conference, the California Pacific Conference, was named a Five-Star Champions of Character Conference. Affiliated conferences can reach this distinction if 60 percent of their members earn "Five-Star" status. Other Cal Pac members who achieved "Five-Star" status include: CSU Maritime, William Jessup University, Menlo College, UC Merced, Marymount University.
In the year 2000, the NAIA introduced the Champions of Character program in an effort to enhance character building in athletics. During the past 10 years, the NAIA has worked to create an environment where every participant (student-athlete, coach, official, and spectator) is committed to the true spirit of competition by focusing on the five core values of the program: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Since their inception, in 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships focused on a balanced educational experience.
NOTE: Information from the official NAIA press release was used in this article.
Click here to view the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard.
Click here to view the list of 2012-13 NAIA Champions of Character Five Star Institutions.
Click here to read the official NAIA press release.