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William Jewell College to pursue NCAA affiliation
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
February 2, 2009

Building on a rich, 125-year tradition in intercollegiate athletic programs, William Jewell College has announced plans to pursue a change in affiliation from the Heart of America Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to the Great Lakes Valley Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II.

“William Jewell College has enjoyed an exceptionally strong tradition of student-athletes who are both engaged in the classroom and competitive on the playing field,” said Dr. David Sallee, president of William Jewell. “Although our association with the NAIA has been productive and satisfying, we believe that the move to the NCAA will build on Jewell’s history of academic excellence within a student-centered environment and will provide an association for our athletes that mirrors the high level of experience they enjoy in the classroom.”

William Jewell plans to make application by June 1 for membership in NCAA Division II and the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Other institutions in the Great Lakes Valley include Rockhurst University, Drury University, and Missouri University for Science and Technology in Rolla.

The NCAA Division II “Philosophy Statement” communicates the expectations for participating members: “Higher education has lasting importance on an individual’s future success. The emphasis for the student-athlete experience in Division II is a comprehensive program of learning and development in a personal setting. The approach provides growth opportunities through academic achievement, learning in high-level athletics competition, and development of societal attitudes in service to community. The balance and integration of these different areas of learning provide Division II student-athletes with a variety of skills and knowledge for life ahead.”

Dr. Sallee noted that the NCAA Division II philosophy blends seamlessly with the institutional mission of William Jewell College. “William Jewell has always emphasized academic achievement, service to the community and personal development,” said Dr. Sallee. “These values are deeply ingrained in the College’s approach to higher education, just as they are in the NCAA’s model of athletic competition as a means to the end of developing individuals who are equipped to deal with the challenges presented beyond the classroom and the playing field. We feel that this new association will provide an ideal match for the personal development needs of our student-athletes.”

The Indianapolis, Ind.-based Great Lakes Valley Conference was established in 1978 and is one of the largest NCAA Division II conferences in the country. With the October 2008 addition of Maryville University in St. Louis and the University of Illinois at Springfield, the GLVC will include 15 teams from five Midwestern states. Other members of the GLVC are: Bellarmine University (Louisville, Ky.), Drury University (Springfield, Mo.), Kentucky Wesleyan College (Owensboro, Ky.), Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.), Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla, Mo.), Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, Ky.), Quincy University (Quincy, Ill.), Rockhurst University (Kansas City, Mo.), Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, Ind.), University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Ind.), University of Missouri-St. Louis (St. Louis, Mo.), University of Southern Indiana (Evansville, Ind.) and University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha, Wis.).

The GLVC last expanded in 2005 with the addition of Drury, Rockhurst and Missouri S&T. The league began in 1978 with six members and had previously expanded to 14 members in 2005, prior to SIU Edwardsville’s departure in 2008. The addition of Maryville and UIS will mark the first time in its history that the GLVC has had 15 members.
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