Purdue University North Central has been named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champions of Character institution for the 2013-14 academic year. PNC has earned the award every year since the inception in 2002.
This year PNC was among 168 institutions named as Five-Star Award winners. Schools earning this distinction share the NAIA commitment to high standards and the principle that participation in athletics serves as an integral part of the total education process.
The mission of Champions of Character is to restore character values and raise a generation of students who understand and demonstrate in everyday decisions respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. The program is dedicated to the principle that character is a choice and that being a champion is not just about winning, but making good decisions in daily life.
The NAIA and member institutions use the Champions of Character program to instill an understanding of character values in sports, and provide student-athletes, coaches and parents the training to help them know and do the right things, inside and outside the sports setting.
“At PNC we look to our student-athletes and coaches to be leaders in the classroom, on the athletic field or court and in the community,” said Dr. James B Dworkin, PNC chancellor. “To consistently earn Champions of Character confirms our focus on ensuring that our student-athletes succeed in sports, in the classroom and in the world.”
To be considered a Champions of Character institution, schools must demonstrate how the Champions of Character program is incorporated in athletic contests, public service projects, established policies related to behavior in practice and game situations, athletic and academic environment and character education.
“We are honored once again to achieve designation as a Champions of Character Five Star institution,” said Tom Albano, PNC director of Athletics. “Being one of the very few schools to maintain this award since its inception shows the commitment our student-athletes and coaches have made to the five points on the star: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.”
In representing the core Champions of Character values off the field, PNC student-athletes performed a number of charitable events in the surrounding communities. Activities in 2013-14 included the baseball team assisting with the Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army Soup Kitchens, participating in a winter clinic for little leaguers with the Valparaiso Parks Department and much more.
The softball team prepared food for the homeless and put together a holiday toy drive with Daniel’s Cause. The basketball and volleyball teams hosted a clinic for The Courts of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso. The basketball team also took some time out to read to Hobart grade school students.
The baseball, basketball and softball team included a “Give Five” program with each team member performing five hours of community service. With 50 plus players and each player exceeding the five hour minimum, the team donated more than 200 hours to community service in 2013-14.