ATHERTON, Calif. – For the ninth consecutive year, Menlo College was recognized as one of only fourteen schools to earn the 100-point Gold Star Champions of Character award from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). There are 249 NAIA member institutions, so the external nods to the strength of Menlo College and Menlo College Athletics is an extremely high honor.

The mission of the Champions of Character program is to help student-athletes and their coaches embody five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership, on and off the playing field. 183 members were named Five-Star award winners, which range from bronze, silver, and gold levels. Each institution is measured on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Points could also be earned based on exception student-athlete grade point averages and by having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.

In the previous academic year, 45% of student-athletes maintained a 3.1 grade point average or higher. The department as a whole maintained a GPA of 2.96. Student-athletes also spent time during the season volunteering for number of different organizations and earned a total of 25 individual awards for academics or service. The news from the NAIA comes at the same as The Princeton Review announcing that Menlo College was ranked as one of the 2018 Best Colleges for the ninth consecutive year.