For more information on how to support our Champions4Life Fund, contact:
Senior Director of Development
History of Carroll Athletics
Carroll University's athletics program was founded on the philosophy Mens sana in corpora sano, meaning a sound mind in a sound body. In the 1890s, President Walter Rankin used that Latin phrase to justify athletics at Carroll during a time when the growth in enrollment and academic programs was an important priority. At that time, football was the only athletic offering, but, in President Rankin's words, the sport "prepared students for the battle of life."
Since then, athletics at Carroll has grown to include 20 NCAA Division III teams with 420 athletes competing. While much has changed since Carroll's early athletic ventures, the philosophy about the importance of the student-athlete experience remains – to prepare students to be leaders on the field, in the classroom and in their communities and professions. That is accomplished through a margin of excellence made possible through the support of alumni and friends.
Most recently, private support has made possible state-of-the-art athletics facilities, including Schneider Stadium, the Dennis Punches Track and Field Complex, the Ted Baker Court and the Quad/Graphics Team Center. These facilities have benefited athletes by providing exceptional venues for training and competition, and also brought athletics to all students by providing outstanding settings for Pioneer fans.
The greatest impact of private support, though, can be seen in the success of Carroll's student-athletes. The discipline, dedication and focus on team are evident in the success of Pioneer athletics and in the individual accomplishments of students in the classroom and on the field and court.
A period of record enrollment has allowed Carroll the opportunity to reinvigorate Pioneer athletics. In July 2010, the university hired its first full-time Director of Athletics. An important part of the renewed commitment to Carroll athletics is additional financial resources. Coaches and players have needed improved team transportation, safety measures, equipment and other ongoing annual operating expenses. This will allow coaches to focus on their team strategies and student-athletes to concentrate on their studies and team practices and games.
The Champions4Life Fund will support the margin of excellence – above and beyond improved operating budgets, by helping to provide the equipment, personnel and other materials to ensure the success of student-athletes – on and off the field. Each year, the Director of Athletics, in consultation with all coaches, will determine annual priorities to be funded through the Champions4Life Fund. The priorities for fiscal year 2011-2012 include:
Equipment: On most days, Van Male Gymnasium is full. Whether they are practicing as a team, training with a coach or athletic trainer, or gathering with teammates after a workout, student-athletes from all teams spend a lot of time in Van Male. The noise and activity level in this wide open space is distracting, drawing athletes' attention away from their coaches and training. This year, we will begin funding long-term improvements to Van Male to address noise and safety issues.
Travel: Teams benefit from competition with non-conference opponents. Annually, the baseball and softball teams travel with the student-athletes fund raising and/or paying for their trip. Proceeds from the Champions4Life Fund will allow teams, on a rotating basis, to travel longer distances for special competitions.
Academic Programming: Between classes and sports, student-athletes are among the busiest people on campus. To help ensure their academic success, the Champions4Life Fund will make possible academic enrichment and programming developed for the student-athlete. Additionally, we are partnering with Career Athletics to help student- athletes prepare for life beyond college. Membership will provide students with access to a unique on-line network of former and current student-athletes for career development purposes.
Carroll is making a significant commitment to bolster the athletic program. But we can't do it alone. The margin of excellence in creating champions on and off the field requires your help. Regardless of your Carroll connection – former student-athlete, parent of a student or friend of athletics - your support is important.