Brenau University earns 12th straight Champions of Character Five-Star honor

The Brenau basketball team cheers before a game against Milligan University. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Brenau’s Katelynn Simpson plays against Tennessee Wesleyan University. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

For the 12th year in a row, Brenau University has been named a Champions of Character Five-Star institution by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Golden Tigers were also one of the 60 schools to achieve silver-level status.

The 157 institutions recognized as award winners earned points in character training recognition and promotion, and community service and team-building activities. Points were also given based on grade-point average and having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the year.

Brenau was one of nine Appalachian Athletic Conference teams on the list and one of four to earn silver-level status. In addition, the AAC was named a Champions of Character Five-Star Conference. In order to be awarded as a five-star conference, at least 50% of the conference’s institutions must receive the NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution Award.

“Our athletes and coaches continue to prioritize the NAIA Champions of Character program,” said Mike Lochstampfor, vice president of athletics and head soccer coach. “Despite the challenges this past year posed, our department was involved in character training, character promotion, and other character-driven initiatives. We are all very proud to be consistently recognized on this list.”

According to the NAIA’s website, the mission of the Champions of Character program is “to provide training to instill the values that build character so students, coaches and parents know, do and value the right thing on and off the field.” The program emphasizes the NAIA’s Five Core Values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership through character-driven athletic programs. The NAIA encourages student-athletes to display the core values on the field, court or track and in the classroom.

The Golden Tigers represent the NAIA well by consistently being awarded for academics, dominance in their sport, and contributions to leadership, sportsmanship and community service. In addition, student-athletes are able to serve on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Representatives from each team meet on a regular basis throughout the year to discuss not only Champions of Character but also other topics related to the student-athlete experience at Brenau.

“The Champions of Character program highlights the best of athletics,” said Kris Stewart, sports information director and head basketball coach. “Our student-athletes consistently show hard work, selflessness, integrity and respect in the field of competition, in the classroom and in the community. Receiving this honor rewards our students for their dedication to both athletics and character-building, and I am very proud of all of their efforts and accomplishments.”