Walsh Named 2022 Division II Award of Excellence Finalist

Walsh Named 2022 Division II Award of Excellence Finalist

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – For the fourth consecutive year and fifth in the last six years, Walsh University has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 Division II Award of Excellence as announced by the NCAA on Monday (Jan. 10).

Walsh's partnership with the organization Vs. Cancer last Spring was named as the Great Midwest Athletic Conference representative. For 2022, 26 schools and two conferences were awarded finalist status.

Per the NCAA release, "Division II honors its members each year for conducting events that promote student-athletes giving back and serving as leaders within their communities or on their campuses. A committee of athletics administrators determined this year's finalists, and the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee selects the winner, who will be announced at the Division II business session Jan. 22 at the 2022 NCAA Convention."

Each finalist will receive $500. The winner will receive an additional $2,500, while the runner-up will receive $1,250 and third place will receive $1,000. All prize money is intended for future SAAC initiatives or community engagement events.

During the Spring 2021 season, nine Walsh teams teamed with the organization Vs. Cancer to raise nearly $12,000 and awareness for child life programs and pediatric brain tumor research. Vs. Cancer is a signature fundraising campaign of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and it also helps local groups as well. Our teams were committed to making this partnership a success and wanted to make sure that our impact was left.

2021 Walsh Athletic Team Contributions

  • Women's Soccer – $4,202
  • Men's Lacrosse – $1,712
  • Men's & Women's Golf – $644
  • Track & Field – $705
  • Football – $320
  • Baseball – $2,473
  • Men's Soccer – $725
  • Women's Lacrosse – $970
  • Walsh Athletics Total - $11,751

"It is a great honor that the Walsh University has been named a finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence for the fourth straight year and fifth time in the six years," said Interim Vice President of Athletics/Athletic Director Jason Fautas. "In addition, we are honored that our student-athletes and staff have put so much time and effort into serving the community and supporting a great initiative. One of our priorities for our athletic department and student-athlete is to be servant leaders in the community. The time and effort behind the Vs. Cancer initiative was tremendous as our teams raised nearly $12,000 for pediatric cancer research. It is a testament to everyone involved that made this community initiative a success."

Walsh's teams and student-athletes went above and beyond in their respective sporting events to not only raise awareness of pediatric brain cancer but to also do their part in trying to make a monetary contribution. Some of the money raised went to Akron Children's Hospital, which is about 20 minutes north of campus. The funds raised were able to provide families and patients with counseling services and education concerning tumors of the brain and spinal cord, which affects many children & adolescents at Akron Children's Hospital.

The opportunity for our student-athletes to partner with an organization like Vs. Cancer helped them to understand that while their work here as Student-Athletes is important, their impact for change can be felt on a much larger scale. Our ability to comprehend that at the end of the day, life is bigger than sports, is a valuable lesson. Using their platform as Student-Athletes and having the ability to connect with people is invaluable.

Walsh baseball head coach Tim Mead is an Ambassador for Vs. Cancer and works to empower other coaches, teams and organizations to join the mission to get involved with Vs. Cancer and raise funds for childhood cancer.

The mission behind Vs. Cancer came right from experience. Founder Chase Jones experienced the childhood cancer world first-hand; in 2006, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, he was diagnosed with a Stage IV brain tumor. As a baseball player at the University of North Carolina, his team rallied around him during treatment and began raising funds to support their local hospital. As a byproduct of community help and national research, Chase attests his status of ten years cancer-free to a combination of the two. Vs. Cancer came to be after the childhood cancer chapter.

NCAA Release