Crown Athletes Learn to Discover, Develop, and Dedicate Beyond Sports

Crown Athletes Learn to Discover, Develop, and Dedicate Beyond Sports

By: Michaela Svoboda

NCAA Division III makes up more than 180,000 student-athletes at 450 different institutions. That concludes the largest NCAA division with participants and schools ( This athlete experience is unique among intercollegiate athletics because, at Division III institutions, student-athletes receive no financial aid for their athletic participation.

Such institutions emphasize the quality of the successful completion of a student’s academic program as an important part of the educational experience. Therefore, a Division III student-athletes’ primary focus isn’t there sport, but instead their academics. Every year the first week of April is set aside to highlight these student-athletes for their honors on and off the court/field.

Crown College’s Department of Athletics decided to nominate two students every day for their high-level achievements in the classroom:

Day 1: Miranda Brueggeman (Volleyball/Basketball) & Jason Kragt (Soccer)

Day 2: Breier Sander (Cross Country/Basketball) & Kate McLaughlin (Softball)

Day 3: Mckenzie Nelson (Cross Country/Track) & Hunter Jontz (Golf)

Day 4: Parker Lippold (Golf/Baseball) & Cassidy Hendricks (Soccer)

Day 5: Katie Hinkle (Volleyball/Basketball) & Travis Walker (Baseball)

Katie Hinkle and Travis Walker were also recognized by the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) as finalists for the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award. This award recognizes outstanding senior student-athletes who have demonstrated a healthy balance by achieving excellence in academics, leadership, and service throughout their time participating in intercollegiate athletics.

In addition, Division III also emphasizes the importance of service in the community. On Tuesday April 4, Crown College student-athletes gathered together to clean the campus. One group started at Klein Bank Stadium, picking up trash under the bleachers and around the surrounding practice fields. At the front entrance, another group laid down new bright red mulch, giving the campus a new appearance as Spring approaches.

Division III stands for Discover, Develop, & Dedicate.

Being a part of this division provides many opportunities for student-athletes to be a part of many campus activities in addition to athletics. When students decide to come to Crown College to participate in athletics, on top of their studies, they are encouraged to discover a deeper love for their sport and other student activities such as: Student Senate, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Student Activities Board (SAB), and more. These activities give student-athletes an environment to develop or grow into a well-rounded adult equipped for life after college.

At Crown a student-athlete isn’t just a competitor, but a teammate, student, and a servant leader. In the UMAC, Crown College holds the largest percentage of student-athletes. The nation average of student athletes is 21% while Crown College carries 40% of their student body are student-athletes.

For any further questions about Crown Athletics or how you can get involved, visit

Photo Credit: Katie Hinkle