The 72nd Annual NAIA Convention officially began today with the Opening Session. Les Purce, chair of the NAIA Council of Presidents, and Jim Carr President and CEO of the NAIA, officially began the Convention with welcoming remarks for the attendees.
“On behalf of the NAIA and the NAIA Council of Presidents, I’d like to welcome you,” Purce said. “This is our single-most-important gathering of the year, and it’s our opportunity to connect with our colleagues, to celebrate our Association’s accomplishments and to look ahead to the future.”
“I’m excited to be here, and I’m excited about the role intercollegiate athletics plays, not just in our Association but in the democracy of our nation,” Purce said. “And I’m excited about the role our student-athletes play, not just in the future of our institutions but in the future of our country.”
Purce noted that the Convention provides an opportunity for attendees to take part in critical Association meetings and network within their community.
“This year’s Convention theme is “Today’s Opportunities, Tomorrow’s Leaders,” and we think that applies not just to the student-athletes at our institutions but to all of us as well,” Purce said. “The NAIA provides those of us who share common values with an opportunity to work together in a community with like-minded institutions that value autonomy, student-athlete welfare, character, and athletics competition as a component of our institutions’ missions to build better citizens of the world.”
Carr encouraged the attendees, which include presidents, athletics directors, conference commissioners, faculty athletics representatives, registrars and Champions of Character liaisons, to take advantage of opportunities to network and attend professional development sessions.
“We have really strengthened our professional development sessions, and we encourage you to take advantage of them,” Carr said. “We also have a nationally recognized motivational speaker, Bob Beaudine, as our keynote. I also want to personally encourage you to attend the General Session Monday on the “Power of the NAIA Membership.”
Carr also noted that the Convention had its own mobile app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices this year, with instructions on how to download it at NAIA.org.
“We hope you will have an engaging and productive Convention,” Carr concluded.