LINCOLN WINS CIAA CONFERENCE GAME ENVIRONMENT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

Finalist In National Game Environment Award To Be Announced January 2013

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA – Lincoln University has recently been named the CIAA Conference winner for the 2012 NCAA Division II Game Environment Award of Excellence for its new Legacy Walk tradition.

Only 12 schools among the 22 NCAA Division II conference and independent institutions received the recognition, which recognizes athletic programs that strive to encourage and engage the campus community, alumni, fans and local community to participate in athletic events, in a positive manner that makes the game enjoyable for the athletes participating and the fans attending.  And with Lincoln only becoming a Division II member institution less than three years ago, earning top honors in the conference further solidifies Lincoln’s dedication to embodying the Division II values.

“In understanding that athletics can bring the wonderful dynamics of unity and camaraderie to a campus community, it was important that we provide ways for everyone to share in the creation of the positive game day environment,” said Sherese Parker, Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services and Student Affairs. “I believed in the initiative and knew that collaborating with various departments and organizations on campus (Student Life and Development, Residential Life, fraternities and sororities) we could educate and push the importance of supporting student-athletes, the team and ultimately the athletic program.”

As part of the Legacy Walk, now a designated University tradition, the football team and coaches gather at the Mary Dod Brown Memorial Chapel prior to every home game, where they pray and reflect on the blessings of their participation, safety throughout competition, good sportsmanship as well as proclaim victory.  From there, the marching band and cheerleaders lead the team across campus to the new stadium garnering supporters (student-athletes, the student body, faculty, staff, alumni and fans) along the way.   Fans greet and rally the team on as they arrive at the stadium entrance.

“Mrs. (Dianthia) Ford-Kee (University Athletics Director) encouraged me to introduce the idea to my head coach, Olabaniji Abanishe, because she believed it would be the perfect pre-game activity to bring the campus community and fans together, as a pre-game pep rally and remind us all of Lincoln’s legacy of excellence in sports, while promoting a positive game environment,” said Hosea Crooms, Jr. a sophomore defensive lineman who conceived the Legacy Walk idea the summer prior to the return of home games on campus, having played off campus the last four years.

As a conference winner, Lincoln University will receive a $500 award and the Legacy Walk will be eligible for the NCAA Division II 2012 National Game Environment Award that will be announced in January 2013 at the NCAA Convention.

“This Legacy Walk seeks to unite the athletes and supporters, by allowing them quiet time in the chapel to reflect on our commitment to unity and the six attributes of Division II, during their walk to the stadium,” Ford-Kee said. “The Legacy Walk allows the student-athlete to think about the ‘Balance’ needed to play with ‘Passion’ while maintaining good ‘Sportsmanlike’ conduct in competition. This is ultimately what creates a positive game environment.”

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, founded in 1854 as the nation’s first historically Black degree-granting institution, combines the elements of a liberal arts and science-based undergraduate curriculum along with select graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly-technological and global society.  Today, the University enrolls a diverse student body of approximately 2,000 men and women.  Internationally recognized for preparing and producing world class leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Lillian Fishburne, the first African American woman promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, Langston Hughes, the noted poet, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria.

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