UMW News BureauThe National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has recognized the University of Montana Western with the Champions of Character Five Star Award. UMW NEWS BUREAU The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has recognized the University of Montana Western with the Champions of Character Five Star Award. The Five Star Award is part of the Champions of Character program, which emphasizes five core values in student-athletes: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. Using a scorecard methodology to grade universities for the Five Star Award program, the NAIA evaluated university athletic programs based on character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earn points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages. Coaches and athletes must also not have any ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year. The Five Star Award recognizes universities that score 60 points or more on the scorecard. Montana Western received a 77. “It is rewarding to see NAIA colleges, universities and conferences taking a leadership role in the NAIA’s mission to advance character-driven athletics,” NAIA president and CEO Jim Carr said. “With significant focus on using athletics as a vehicle to teach life lessons there is no doubt we will have a positive impact on our 60,000 student-athletes. Encompassing efforts from across the association signals important differences in how the NAIA conducts athletic competition. That distinction sets us apart, and I’m very proud of that.” Montana Western Athletic Director Mark Durham said the distinction Carr speaks of is something the athletic department and Bulldog student-athletes continually strive for. “This is a really important program,” Durham said. “While we always strive to compete like champions, we feel it is more important to instill that attitude, those five core values, in our student-athletes’ approaches to their everyday lives. Being recognized with the Five Star Award is even more of an affirmation of that.”
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.