The Rogers State University Athletic Department was named as a finalist for the NCAA Division II 2019 Award of Excellence.

The Hillcats are one of 20 athletic programs and one conference that was recognized as a finalist for the honor, which is focused on recognizing campus and community engagement efforts over the past year.

 “It’s a tremendous honor for Rogers State to be recognized for the work our student-athletes and staff have done to give back to the community in Claremore,” said Director of Athletics Chris Ratcliff.  “Community engagement and giving back to our neighbors, as well as fostering growth and experiences for our area youth, is a point of emphasis in the RSU Athletic Department.”

 The Rogers State University Athletic Department earned its finalist honor following its Partner in Education, Claremont Elementary Day.  The athletics department and student-athletes partnered with the students of Claremore Elementary School to give young students the gift of the VIP treatment during a home basketball game.

 “To see our student-athletes and staff take pride in seeing out the goals we set forth for community service and engagement, and recognize the impact and benefits that they have made, is an important part of the development of personal and community growth for our Hillcats,” added Ratcliff.  “Most importantly, I want to thank Associate AD Sara Braun for her hard work on this initiative.  Sara worked tirelessly on this project and this honor solidifies her efforts.”

 Division II annually honors its members for leading events that exemplify any of the six Division II attributes: learning, balance, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, passion and service.  A committee of athletics administrators determined this year’s finalists, and the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee selected the winner at the 2019 NCAA Convention.

 Each finalist receives $500 intended to be used for future community engagement activities.

 The following are the 2019 finalists in alphabetical order:

 Arkansas Tech

Barton

Coker

Colorado School of Mines

Gannon

Georgia College

Goldey-Beacom

Great Lakes Valley Conference

Michigan Tech

Midwestern State

Missouri Western

Montevallo

Pace

Regis

Roberts Wesleyan

Rogers State

Simon Fraser

Southwest Minnesota State

UC San Diego 

Virginia at Wise

Walsh