Graceland Earns Champions of Character Five-Star Institution Award for 2018-19

Graphic with Champions of Character logo and Graceland's shield logo

LAMONI, IOWA - Graceland University was recognized as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for 2018-19. This is the third consecutive year the Yellowjackets have been recognized at the gold level for this achievement.

Graceland Associate Director of Athletics, Zack Mullins, commented, “As an athletic department, it is important we are putting our student-athletes in positions to not only be successful in an arena and in a classroom, but also be outstanding, impactful people who are capable of impacting their communities when they leave here." He added, "That is why being recognized for the NAIA’s Champions of Character program is an honor, as it shows our commitment to character building with each of our student-athletes.”

The NAIA's Champions of Character program represents five core character values: respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership and sportsmanship. These compliment Graceland's core values of learning, wholeness and community, and are in line with the mission to create learning communities where students develop their potential for meaningful and productive lives.

The Champions of Character scorecard measures an institution's commitment to Champions of Character with points assigned in five key areas: character training, academic focus, character recognition, character promotion and conduct in competition.

To be named to the gold level, an institution must total at least 90 of a possible 100 points. A total of 181 colleges and universities, and 16 conferences, earned the Champions of Character Five-Star Award for 2018-19, and Graceland was one of just 63 institutions to achieve gold-level status.

"We strive every year to be a five-star institution and push our student-athletes to be advocates in the Champions of Character initiative," said Athletic Director Brady McKillip. "I am excited to achieve this for now a third straight year."