Wheaton receives community service award

Wheaton has been recognized by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) with the NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Honorable Mention Award in the category of On-Going Project. The award was presented to John Sutyak ’00, interim director of athletics, in January at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

The NADIIIAA comprises athletics administrators from the nearly 450 institutions and 40 conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level. The association recognizes institutions and/or conferences for the impressive community service projects performed by their student-athletes during the academic year. The awards program is designed to encourage students to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

This past year, the Wheaton men’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, and field hockey programs adopted a unit of troops in Afghanistan. The student-athletes wrote letters to the soldiers and often sent packages, which included DVDs, holiday cards, magazines, newspapers and items made by local youths.

Additionally, the teams hung a flag that was signed by each soldier in the unit at all home contests as a constant reminder of their friends and family members overseas. The field hockey team also collected donations for the troops from parents and participants at their annual 32-team indoor tournament last January.

“We are honored to have been chosen as one of the recipients of the award,” said Sutyak. “I know that NADIIIAA receives numerous nominations for these awards each year, so it’s a privilege for Wheaton to be honored by the organization. This award speaks volumes about Wheaton and our student-athletes.”

In addition to providing commemorative trophies, the NADIIIAA and Jostens also make a $1,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund of each of the institutions honored.