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Westminster Prepares for NCAA's Second Division III Week

Friday, April 5, 2013

GREENVILLE, Pa. - The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) and each of its 10 member institutions are anticipating an exciting week long celebration of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III as the second annual Division III Week is set to kick off on Monday, April 8 and run through Sunday, April 14.

"On behalf of the Presidents' Athletic Conference and its member institutions, we are proud to be members of NCAA Division III and look forward to spotlighting our student-athletes and programs via events on all 10 of our campuses April 8-14 during Division III week," said PAC commissioner Joe Onderko.
 
DIII Week provides each school and conference with the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the well-rounded collegiate experience enjoyed by the Division III student-athlete.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Division III athletics. In 1973 the NCAA organized itself into three divisions, forming Division III and creating the first championships for 233 colleges and universities. Since then Division III has become the NCAA's largest division, greatly expanding opportunities for competition. It currently features 446 member schools (439 active, 7 provisional/reclassifying), 43 voting conferences and more than 178,000 student-athletes.

Throughout DIII Week the PAC office will be releasing a daily feature titled "Personalities of the PAC". The conference has gathered a variety of individuals willing to lend their perspectives relating to the Division III experience. Westminster College associate professor of education and Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), Dr. Dar Huey will be among those that are featured.

Here is a list of DIII Week activities on Westminster's campus:

April 5: Eighth Annual SAAC Field Day for Wilmington fourth grade students; Although not in the April 8-14 window designated by the NCAA, it is Westminster's "unofficial" start to DIII week; This is a Westminster SAAC annual community service event.
 
April 8-14: Poster display in Westminster's McKelvey Campus Center highlighting women's sports at Westminster marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX; The display includes information and photos from women's sports at Westminster through the decades since Title IX was enacted; In addition, there will be two trivia questions sent to the campus by e-mail each day related to Division III, Westminster in Division III and women's sports at Westminster.

April 11: PAC Academic Honor Roll Luncheon; This luncheon will recognize the student-athletes from the fall sports teams who earned this special academic achievement honor from the PAC; Second Annual Dodge Ball Tournament; This event is sponsored by the Athletic Department and proceeds to benefit Special Olympics, Division III's primary community service initiative.
 
April 13: Student-Athlete Appreciation Day; This is the fourth year for this event which involves a picnic lunch at the Field House for Westminster student-athletes; Lawrence County Special Olympics athletes and coaches are also invited to attend and are recognized at the Westminster track & field invitational meet that afternoon; Student-athletes attending the picnic are encouraged to support the Titan teams who have home contests on this day; Special Olympics Basketball Tournament; This is the second year for Westminster to host this event in which Titan SAAC representatives and their teammates volunteer as referees and coaches for a tournament organized by Lawrence County Special Olympics.

Follow all of the DIII Week stories being told across the country by checking out the Twitter hashtag #d3week. Want to tell a Division III story of your own? Use the Twitter hashtag #whyd3!
 
***The Presidents' Athletic Conference Contributed to this release.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.