Department of Athletics Named NAIA Five-Star Silver Institution

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (December 3, 2014) -- For the 13th-consecutive academic year, the John Brown University Department of Athletics has been named a Five-Star Institution, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced in November.

“From the inception of the NAIA’s Champions of Character initiative, JBU has been committed to being an active participant in this program,” Director of Athletics Robyn Daugherty said. “We believe that emphasizing and teaching the five core values of this program are important in the growth of all of our student-athletes. We are proud to be a 13-time recipient of this award.”

Since the inception of the Champions of Character initiative in 2001, JBU has enjoyed a successful tradition of adopting and implementing the five core values into its student-athletes' intercollegiate athletics experience. Because of these efforts, the Department of Athletics has experienced tremendous success, earning the Institutional Award each year from 2001 through 2013.

Currently, having won the award for 13-straight years, John Brown University is only one of 22 institutions in the NAIA to have claimed the accolades each year the award was presented.

“Here at John Brown University, we have been afforded tremendous opportunities,” said Jeff Soderquist, head women’s basketball coach and assistant athletic director. “We need to give back to our communities and our student-athletes have answered that call. It’s great to see the various ways they have responded with numerous local outreaches.

“The level of importance placed on the Champions of Character initiative started back with our former Director of Athletics Dr. Robert Burns, a founding member of the initiative. His commitment to developing the program and now the continuation and importance stressed by Robyn [Daugherty] shows how the program has always been engrained into our department. It’s great to be honored.”

This is the first year the NAIA has divided its Five-Star award into Gold, Silver and Bronze standards. The Golden Eagles finished with 86 points, four shy of the Gold category. Joining John Brown were six other Sooner Athletic Conference institutions including Mid-America Christian (Okla.), Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, St. Gregory’s (Okla.), Southwestern Christian (Okla.) and Wayland Baptist (Texas). Of the seven SAC institutions, John Brown received the highest score in the conference. Additionally, the SAC was also named a Five-Star Conference, one of 17 such conferences honored.

The Champions of Character Scorecard measures each institution's commitment to the NAIA Champions of Character program. Points are earned in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, character recognition, academic focus and character promotion.

Columbia College (S.C.) earned the top spot on the NAIA Five-Star Scorecard, scoring a perfect 100. Beyond Columbia, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta (Ga.) claimed second place with 95 points while Cumberlands (Ky.) earned third place with 94 points. Edward Waters (Fla.), Louisiana State – Shreveport, and Truett-McConnell (Ga.) each accumulated 92 points each to tie for fourth place overall.

In total, 168 schools were named Five-Star Champions of Character institutions for 2013-14. Among these honorees, 17 of 23 conferences in the NAIA earned Five-Star Conference Awards.

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