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UNCP named finalist for NCAA Division II Award of Excellence

Jan. 5—PEMBROKE — UNC Pembroke's partnership with the Town of Pembroke during American Indian Heritage Month has picked up national recognition as the Braves have been named a finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence.

UNCP was one of two Conference Carolinas schools named as a finalist. Lees-McRae was also on the list for their "Splash" program.

"This honor for both Lees-McRae and UNC Pembroke is another fantastic showcase that highlights the types of institutions we have in Conference Carolinas," Commissioner Chris Colvin said. "It's always our goal in Conference Carolinas to help our member institutions fulfill their missions and to help them build champions in body, mind and soul. Both of these first-class institutions always go above and beyond in all areas, and we are truly thankful to see them recognized for their efforts in this way."

Twenty-five schools and two conferences have been named finalists for the 2024 Division II Award of Excellence, which is an accolade that recognizes initiatives in the past year that exemplify the Division II philosophy, community engagement and student-athlete leadership. Eight finalists were picked as at-large honorees for submitting a strong nomination that was not chosen as the finalist for their conference.

UNC Pembroke was chosen as an at-large finalist for its "American Indian Heritage Football Game." The only four-year institution in the U.S. founded by American Indians, UNC Pembroke hosted a football game that generated thousands of additional attendees, honored its historic culture, extended youth ticket opportunities to a number of organizations and much more.

Division II honors its members each year for conducting events that promote student-athletes giving back and serving as leaders within their communities or on their campuses. A committee of athletics administrators determined this year's finalists, and the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) selected the top three finalists, who will be announced at the Division II business session on Jan. 13 at the 2024 NCAA Convention in Phoenix.

Each finalist will receive $500. In addition, the winner will receive $2,500, the first runner-up will receive $1,250 and the second runner-up will receive $1,000. All prize money is intended to be used for future SAAC initiatives or community engagement events.