HU received the award based on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in each of the following categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. The Foresters also earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages.
"In today's complex college athletic environments where success is sometimes only measured by wins and losses strengthening effective athletic departments and leadership is key to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics," said Kristin Gillette, NAIA Director of Champions of Character. "The NAIA supports and recognizes member institutions and conferences using sport as a vehicle to teach life lessons. No doubt this is a point of differentiation in college athletics and making a huge impact on our 60,000 student-athletes."
Institutions are measured using the NAIA Scorecard and is based on the NAIA's flagship program Champions of Character, which emphasizes the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. To receive this award, institutions must score at least 60 out of 100 possible points.
Conferences with at least 60% of their members earning Five Star recognition are recognized as Champions of Character Five Star Conferences. Nine of the ten Mid-Central College Conference (MCC) institutions received this award and as such, the MCC has been designated as a Champions of Character Five Star Conference.