John Brown University Named Champions of Character Gold Institution

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (September 16, 2015) -- For the 14th-consecutive year, since the inception of the program, John Brown University has been recognized as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and on Monday (Sept. 14), JBU earned its first Gold-level nomination since the NAIA changed the classification system in 2013.

Every institution and conference has its progress in pursuing character education tracked and recognized annually for achievements in training, promotion and conduct in competition. The Champions of Character Scorecard measures commitment in five key areas and has a possible 100 points. The three levels that are awarded are Gold (90-100 points), Silver (75-89 points) and Bronze levels (60-74).

In the new classification system’s first year in 2013-14, JBU was tabbed as a Silver institution, finishing with 86 points. However, the Golden Eagles stepped up in 2014-15 by improving its score by six points, finishing with 92 and its first-ever Gold-level honor.

“I am so thankful to Jeff Soderquist for his work in leading the Champions of Character efforts and to our coaches and student-athletes for their commitment to this valuable program,” said director of athletics Robyn Daugherty. “We believe strongly in this program and in the five core values that are emphasized. It’s great to be recognized as a Gold institution, but that’s not why we do this. We believe in how this program can help grow young men and women into strong leaders for the future.”

Alongside the community service and outreach aspects of the program, the Champions of Character Live 5 also emphasizes education to both the student-athlete and the coach, which is delivered through a series of training courses. The courses include the NAIA Coaches Code and a review of the Code of Ethics while student-athletes are encouraged to engage in team-building exercises, sign the Student-Athlete pledge and partipate in online activities.

“I am very pleased with all the work our student-athletes do to give back to the community and other areas," noted assistant director of athletics Jeff Soderquist, who is also JBU's Champions of Character liaison to the NAIA. "But this goes far beyond all the volunteer work our athletes do, this is also the way they conduct themselves whether they are playing their sport or just working around or engaging the campus community. I couldn't be more proud of this group of student-athletes.”

Overall, 169 member institutions in the NAIA were named Five-Star Institutions, including 29 Gold-level institutions. John Brown was one of seven institutions in the Sooner Athletic Conference to earn Five-Star status, and joined Oklahoma City University as the only two to earn Gold-level accolades. OCU finished with 94 points and the most of any SAC institution.

Overall, JBU finished with the 18th-highest point total in the nation.

To learn more about John Brown University and its commitment to the NAIA's Champions of Character program, please click here.

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