President Steven R. DiSalvo announced Tuesday that Saint Anselm College has applied to enter the exploratory phase of NCAA Division III membership for all athletic programs.
“We evaluated our academic, geographic, and athletic profile, along with our overall vision and strategic goals, and it became very clear that we were a better fit with the majority of Division III schools. If we are accepted, it will be an exciting opportunity for us to grow as an institution- recommitting to our mission and values, while promoting academic and athletic excellence,” says Dr. DiSalvo.
Division III is the largest category of competition that the NCAA offers, with more than 180,000 student-athletes at 450 colleges and universities, many with a focus on the liberal arts and on academic quality.
Division III schools emphasize a student-athlete experience strongly grounded in campus life and a comprehensive program of learning and development, where growth opportunities are provided through academic achievement, high-level athletic competition, and service to community. Saint Anselm shares these distinctive features of the student-athlete experience. “Our athletes are expected to excel academically, as well as athletically, while exhibiting the highest level of sportsmanship, leadership, integrity and honor,” said interim director of Athletics Phil Rowe.
The college was recently ranked 13th in the nation for community service, and experiential learning is an integral part of the Saint Anselm College experience. Membership in Division III would provide increased access to these types of opportunities, otherwise unavailable to student-athletes with demanding year-round athletic schedules. Additionally, less travel time to competing institutions would mean less time out of class for student-athletes.
“This decision by our leadership holds true to our mission and vision. We embrace our role as educators to continue to provide our student-athletes the best experience possible moving forward,” said Rowe.