Spalding University has officially become a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III.
The announcement was made Sept. 13 at a press conference on the campus, followed by what a news release from Spalding called a “campus-wide pep rally” attended by Spalding President Tori Murden McClure, Mayor Greg Fischer, Athletic Director Roger Burkman and Jean Orr, assistant director of academic and membership affairs for the NCAA’s Division III.
“This recognition confirms the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, who excel on the field and succeed in the classroom,” Murden said in the release. “It is also a testament to the growth and renewal happening at Spalding.”
For the past four years, Spalding athletic teams have had provisional Division III memberships. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the university will be eligible to participate in NCAA championships for the first time. Division III status also gives the university the right to vote at the NCAA annual convention.
“Besides full voting rights, Spalding will be eligible to apply for NCAA grant programs, which can enhance our department and institution as a whole,” said Charlie Just, the university’s head women’s basketball coach and NCAA compliance officer.
Division III status also offers possible national recognition for student-athletes with All-American and Academic All-American honors, and also gives graduates the chance to apply for post-graduate scholarships, the release noted.