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Stephens Athletics earns Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award

September 9, 2016

As the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) remains at the forefront of character-driven athletics, Stephens College continues its run as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution. The NAIA announced the list on Tuesday afternoon, and the Stars were among the 171 member institutions listed and one of just 19 institutions listed at the gold level.

“Each year, we strive and expect to earn the NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution Award, but this year is particularly special as we reached Gold status for the first time,” stated director of athletics and the 2015-16 Stars’ NAIA Champions of Character Liaison Adam Samson. “We stepped it up a notch and are now considered one of the NAIA’s elite institutions when it comes to character-driven athletics.”

It marks the seventh consecutive year the Stars have earned the Five-Star distinction and the first as gold status.

“You don’t have to look far to find the high-character individuals that we have around our athletics department. It is truly a group effort and I couldn’t be more proud of our coaches, staff and student-athletes who have represented us so well in the community,” Samson added.

The Champions of Character program provides resources to member institutions to enhance administrators, staff and student-athletes in its five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.

To carry out the Champions of Character mission, several of the Stars’ teams and groups participated in outreach activities this past year. The new Association of Student-Athletes (ASA) developed activities in each of the core values and presented them to The Children’s School at Stephens College elementary students; soccer and basketball read to pre-school and elementary kids during Literacy Week; and competitive dance volunteered at the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. Volleyball hosted a volleyball and core values clinic for Camp Adventure students; and several student-athletes helped serve as instructors and created lesson plans for The Children’s School physical education classes.

Stephens was the only American Midwest Conference school to earn gold status. Eleven other conference schools found their way on the silver and bronze list.

For more information about the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard, click here.

To view the complete list of 2015-2016 NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institutions, click here.

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