For the second year in a row, Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s athletic department has earned the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ (NAIA) highest award, the 5 Star Champions of Character Gold Award. Institutions are measured on their commitment to being Champions of Character and earn points in the areas of character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion.

According to the press release, this award not only concentrates on competitive and academic success, but also takes into account how each university does in advancing the NAIA’s 5 core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. “This award is indicative of the cooperative spirit that exists within the department of athletics,” said A&M-Texarkana Director of Athletics Michael Galvan. “It is important to teach the value of giving back to the community.  But it is also vital that the student-athletes understand and learn the art of sacrificing one’s own agenda for the betterment of someone else.  If a need exists around you try to be a problem solver not a problem creator.  We often tell our student-athletes if they are going to complain about something make sure they offer up their services to make things better or create a solution that can remedy the problem,” Galvan added. “Being named a Gold Award recipient in back to back years demonstrates how much time and effort our athletes and athletic department staff put into becoming better athletes, students, teachers, and citizens.”

The NAIA has 250 member institutions. 171 of those achieved some level of Champions of Character recognition, but A&M-Texarkana was among the top 74 universities who received the prestigious Gold Star designation.