WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University athletic department was honored — twice — for its volunteer efforts during the 2012-2013 academic school year.
SMU earned honorable-mention honors in both the One-Time Project and An Array of Projects categories as part of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA)/Jostens Community Service Awards.
The awards program is co-sponsored by the NADIIIAA and Jostens and is intended to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities. Recognition is given for projects in three categories: One-Time Projects, An Array of Projects, and Ongoing Projects.
“As always, I am extremely proud of our student-athletes — they embody the Lasallian spirit of service and leadership, and truly give of themselves in numerous ways,” said SMU athletic director Nikki Fennern. “We are privileged to use the gifts we have to serve others and gain valuable learning opportunities in the process.
“To commit to the significant hours of service — given the tremendous time constraints and busy lives of student-athletes — shows the well-rounded experience of our students of the true spirit Division III athletics.”
In the Array of Projects category, SMU student-athletes donated over 3,000 hours of time to a variety of projects including, but not limited to — painting buildings, working with Winona area youth, Special Olympics young athletes program, Spruce Up Winona and Make a Difference Day, to name a few, while the Strong Is The New Beautiful 5K — in which over 600 people came out to support SMU senior volleyball player Sabrina Bushlack by participating in the 5K Run/Walk on the SMU campus — earned SMU honorable-mention in the One-Time Project category.
This year’s overall winners were: Stevens Institute of Technology (One-Time Projects), SUNY College at Oswego (An Array of Projects), and SUNY College at Oswego (Ongoing Projects).
Other schools honored included Saint Mary’s, Salem State University, Albion College, UW-La Crosse, Wentworth Institute, and Johnson & Wales University, Wheaton College (MA), Alvernia University, Arcadia University, Springfield College, Otterbein University, Haverford College, Western New England University, and the University of Southern Maine.