As one of its most successful athletic years winds to a close, Centre prepares to recognize its student-athletes and their contributions to campus and the community beginning Friday, April 6 with National Student-Athlete Day and extending through Sunday, April 15 for the first celebration of the NCAA’s Division III Week.
This year marks the 25th celebration of National Student-Athlete Day, which was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports “to recognize and celebrate the academic and athletic achievements of college and high school student-athletes nationwide.” The inaugural Division III Week was created to draw attention to the division’s unique philosophy, which equally emphasizes athletics, academics and involvement in campus life among its 442 schools.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of Division III,” NCAA President Mark Emmert says. “The NCAA’s largest division combines rigorous academics, competitive athletics and the opportunity to pursue other passions. Division III is the perfect home for student-athletes who want to succeed at the highest levels in all walks of life.”
Centre has 506 student-athletes among its 23 varsity sports, and has several activities planned to honor its athletes, beginning with setting up a table in Cowan Dining Commons on Friday, April 6 for National Student-Athlete Day.
There are also several athletic contests at home during Division III Week, including four men’s lacrosse games, two women’s lacrosse games, two men’s and women’s tennis matches, a softball doubleheader and the Centre Invitational track meet. A full schedule of the school’s athletic contests for the week can be found below.
“We’re excited to participate in both the National Student Athlete Day and NCAA Division III Week,” says Brian Chafin, Centre’s director of athletics and recreation. “We’re happy that we have many different contests on campus to highlight that week, and we’re happy for this chance for our student athletes to showcase their talents on the fields and courts of competition as all our other teams have done throughout the year.”
So far, the 2011-12 athletic seasons have been some of the most successful in school history. The women’s cross country and women’s basketball teams won Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships, while football, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s basketball all advanced to their respective NCAA postseasons. Additionally, field hockey, men’s soccer and men’s basketball reached the conference tournament finals, several swimmers qualified for the NCAA Championships as individuals and the women’s golf team climbed as high as a second place national ranking during its fall season.
Still, Centre’s success has hardly been limited to athletics, as its student-athletes have lived up to the Division III philosophy. The Colonels placed a record 80 student-athletes on the SCAC’s Fall Academic Honor Roll, and the men’s cross country team posted the highest GPA in all of Division III. Nearly all of Centre’s athletic teams have members volunteering in the community, while the field hockey and men’s soccer teams played games that raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.
“Centre College exemplifies the highest level of the Division III philosophy as demonstrated by the success of our athletes not only in competition, but in their impact on campus and in the community as well,” Chafin concludes.
For more information on NCAA Division III, visit the NCAA website.