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Division II Award of Excellence

As part of Division II’s emphasis on community engagement, the division annually honors institutions or conferences with the Award of Excellence for community engagement efforts.

Each active Division II school and conference is eligible to submit its best community engagement activity and/or event that promotes student-athletes giving back and serving as leaders within their communities. A few initiatives schools may consider include student-athlete leadership development, educational programming, military appreciation, game environment, Make-A-Wish® or Team IMPACT®.

Monetary prizes are given for first ($2,500), second ($1,250) and third place ($1000), and a $500 prize is given to one winner in each of the 23 Division II conferences, as well as one winner representing independent institutions. All prize money is to be used toward future community engagement initiatives.

Virginia State University won the 2020 award for partnering with Samaritan’s Feet International to provide 300 new pairs of athletic shoes and socks to students at Cool Spring Elementary in Petersburg, Pennsylvania.

Lindenwood University won the inaugural Award of Excellence for its efforts to raise money and awareness for the cause of Sterling Thomas, a Lindenwood football player who suffered a serious spinal cord injury in October 2012.

The Award of Excellence began as the Division II Community Engagement Award in 2008, and it was accompanied by a Division II Game Environment Award in 2010. At the 2014 Convention, Division II combined the two awards to allow the division to give larger prizes and prestige to those member conferences or institutions that participated.