Takoma Park, MD (April 17) - Washington Adventist University’s application for active membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has been approved, effective August 1.
“We are extremely pleased with our move to the NAIA, as it will help enhance support for our athletic program and better align the university with other schools that have similar character initiatives,” said WAU Director of Athletics Patrick E. Crarey II, who is also head coach of the men’s basketball team, which won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division I National Championship this year.
Institutions applying to the NAIA must meet membership criteria that include financial stability, sports sponsorship, accreditation and a commitment to character-driven athletics. The Membership Committee also reviews enrollment numbers, graduation percentages, retention rates and overall athletics budgets.
WAU is one of five new members in the NAIA, including Lincoln Christian University (Ill.), Middle Georgia State College, Texas A&M University – Texarkana, and the University of Winnipeg (Can.). Trinity Lutheran College (Wash.) was approved as an associate member, and will be evaluated for active membership at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.
“We are always pleased to welcome new members to the Association,” said Les Purce, chair of the NAIA Council of Presidents and President of Evergreen State College (Wash.). “These are quality institutions that have been through a rigorous review process and meet the high standards the NAIA Membership Committee has set.”
Competitive sports teams are part of the vision for excellence that WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence has for the university. This year, the men’s soccer team earned the No. 7 seed in the 2013 USCAA National Championships in Charleston, W.Va. The women’s basketball team recorded the most wins in 20 years by finishing the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 9-18, and the cross country team had one of its strongest years in recent history.