UST Athletics Tops Champions of Character Five-Star Institutions
The University of St. Thomas Athletic Department has once again been recognized for exemplifying the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champions of Character core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
Based on the Champions of Character Scorecard, St. Thomas landed in the top five universities in the NAIA Five Star Champions of Character for the 2010-2011 academic year. NAIA recognizes 220 colleges and universities and 23 conferences with this designation. St. Thomas has been named a Champion of Character institution for four consecutive years.
To receive the Five Star award, members scored 60 or more points on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard. St. Thomas’ landed in the top five of the Five Star Champions of Character Scorecard with 89 points. Other colleges and universities landing in the top five spots include Cornerstone (Michigan) with 103 points, Montana Tech of the University of Montana with 97 points, Shawnee State (Ohio) with 94 points, Biola (California) and Xavier (Louisiana.) each with 91 points and Oklahoma City and the University of St. Thomas rounding out the top five with 89 points each
Institutions were measured on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in 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.
St. Thomas student-athletes and athletic staff have volunteered for numerous events and trainings which have garnered recognition from the Champions of Character program including character-driven coaching training, Dig Pink and Orange Out volleyball matches benefiting breast cancer and leukemia research, youth camps for basketball, volleyball and soccer, President’s Day of Service, Freshman Symposium Mentors, service project at the Houston Food Bank, Black Student Union, freshman orientation and residence hall move-in.
“As we grow as an Athletic Department, it is very important that we continue to instill the values put forth by the Champions of Character Program - integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership,” said Athletic Director Todd Smith. “Our student-athletes will graduate prepared to be positive contributors and leaders to the communities they join. It is our goal to graduate champions of faith and Character.”
In 2006, UST became an independent member of the NAIA and introduced its first varsity women’s volleyball team. In 2007, men’s soccer was added to the roster, followed by men’s basketball which joined the UST athletic department in 2009. In 2011, St. Thomas joined the Red River Athletic Conference and introduced women’s basketball and men’s and women’s golf.