On Friday, June 24, 2016, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) received news that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Membership Committee granted UVF active NCAA Division III status, effective September 1, 2016. This change in status from provisional member to active status arrived in time to prepare for the 2016–2017 athletic year.
Over the five-year application process the administrators, faculty and personnel from the Department of Athletics, led by Athletic Director Jon Mack, committed their time and effort to see the department grow and improve. They attended NCAA national conventions and training seminars to reach NCAA Division III status. "This is a historical moment for our university and athletic department. The NCAA membership requirements are quite rigorous. Although the process has been lengthy, we value it for how it has shaped and refined our athletic department," said Mack.
During the provisional years, over 50 percent of the Patriots' games were against Div. III opponents. Becoming active Div. III members and now being part of the Association of Division III Independents (AD3I) – which includes 13 other institutions without a conference home – will provide additional competitive opportunities against other Division III institutions. Conference membership is the next piece to compliment the NCAA Division III membership.
"What incredible news this is for the University of Valley Forge!" Dr. Don Meyer, President Emeritus, said. "Jon Mack has invested tireless hours with deep commitment throughout this application process. We would never have achieved this status without his expertise and devotion." Meyer also thanked Rev. Jennifer Gale, vice president of student life, who oversees the Department of Athletics and Professor Emeritus Kathleen Terragnoli, for their leadership and faithful support of UVF Patriot Athletics and the application process.
The NCAA Division III is the largest division in terms of the number of school and student participants; it includes 450 institutions and 180,000 student-athletes. Division III athletics effectively help student-athletes stay on course academically and work toward graduation. Student-athletes and mentors strive to have a balanced life on campus that includes academics, athletics and other extracurricular activities.
The UVF Department of Athletics offers five men's sports and five women's sports. The department's mission statement is: to prepare student-athletes for the journey of discipleship through athletics by pursuing excellence in skill, teamwork, leadership, Christian-character and servanthood. Teams from the Department of Athletics also serve the campus and the surrounding community through service projects and outreach programs throughout the year.
The 2016 fall preseason camp begins August 17. Fall athletes participating in women's soccer, men's soccer, women's volleyball, women's cross country and men's cross country will return to campus to prepare for the upcoming season. Stay connected to UVF Patriot Athletics through social media and celebrate this historic milestone with the start of the fall semester, when these teams become the first to play in NCAA Division III games.
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