FGCU Athletics is one of three finalists selected by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the Fiesta Bowl for the inaugural Community Service Award. The announcement was made at the 52nd Annual NACDA Convention on June 12.
The Eagles are finalists along with the University of Maryland and East Carolina University. The Community Service Award will be presented in the fall, at an on-campus event hosted by the winning institution.
The award is designed to recognize Division-I NACDA member institutions, honoring exceptional athletics departments that make volunteerism and community service a way of life. A five-person committee consisting of athletics directors across the country and representatives from the Fiesta Bowl and NACDA will help choose this year”s award winner.
The winning institution will receive a trophy for permanent display and $10,000 for its chosen charity.
“We are extremely honored to be named a finalist for such a wonderful recognition,” said FGCU Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “This is especially gratifying in light of FGCU’s overall commitment to community service, as best exemplified in our being one of only a few institutions who have documented learning service as a component of earning one’s degree.
“In the end, we are so blessed to be supported by our Southwest Florida community on a daily basis in so many ways. In turn, we are very proud of our student-athletes and staff for collectively committing to give back amidst their own hectic schedules, with a comprehension of how personally rewarding it is to help others in need of assistance.”
FGCU Athletics takes extreme pride in giving back to the local community, which campaigned for the institution’s founding and has supported it since it opened its doors in 1997. FGCU requires all students to perform 80 hours of documented service-learning in order to graduate and has accumulated 2.2 million service hours in two decades.
Each of the 15 teams within FGCU Athletics completes at least one community service project each academic year that involves 90 percent of the team’s roster and does not involve their sport. Most of the teams go above and beyond and perform two or more projects. FGCU Athletics’ 350 student-athletes and staff members collectively volunteered more than 6,000 hours in 2016-17 for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Golisano Children’s Hospital and the local Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.