Western Oregon Is NCAA Award Of Excellence Finalist
Western Oregon was named the GNAC finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence for the first time since 2015.
Western Oregon was named the GNAC finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence for the first time since 2015.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

MONMOUTH, Ore. - Western Oregon University is one of 22 institutions named as finalists for the 2023 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence, an award that recognizes events that promote student-athletes giving back and serving as leaders within their communities and on their campuses.

Western Oregon was nominated for the award in recognition of the partnership between Wolves Athletics and Abby’s House, the campus center for equity and gender justice.

In April, WOU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee teamed up with Abby’s House to promote on-campus resources during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The WOU SAAC, using social media platforms to share and promote events hosted by Abby’s House during April, encouraged student-athletes to get involved.

Western Oregon Athletics and Abby’s House have continued working together this year by teaming up to provide information and resources about domestic violence and stalker awareness.

“We are fortunate to have a center on campus that informs people about these disturbing issues in our society and provides amazing resources to our campus community,” WOU Director of Athletics Randi Lydum said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Abby’s House.”

The NCAA Division II committee of athletic administrators determined this year’s finalists by selecting one finalist per Division II conference. Each finalist receives $500, with the intention of the money being used for future SAAC initiatives or community engagement events. The winner will receive $2,500, the first runner-up $1,250 and the second runner-up $1,000. The winners will be announced during the Division II business session on Jan. 14 at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio.

This is the second time that Western Oregon has been recognized as a finalist for the Award of Excellence, being named as the GNAC finalist in 2015. Other conference finalists from the GNAC over the years have included Alaska (2016), Central Washington (2016), Montana State Billings (2018 & 2020) and Simon Fraser (2019, 2021 & 2022).

ABOUT ABBY’S HOUSE: Located on the Western Oregon University campus, the mission of Abby’s House is to provide the campus community with educational opportunities, resources and referral services designed to promote equity and non-violence. Services provided by Abby’s House include resources for providing for basic needs. Confidential advocates for issues related to domestic/dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, peer educators and a food pantry and clothes closet. Abby’s House is named in honor of Abigail Scott Duniway, who was a pioneer in fighting for women’s rights and suffrage in Oregon. For more information, visit https://wou.edu/abbyshouse.