Indiana University East officially launches intercollegiate athletics, joins NAIA

Indiana University East officially launches intercollegiate athletics, joins NAIA

For a complete listing of events for “IU East Athletics Day,” please visit

Richmond, Ind. – Today the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that it officially accepted IU East as a member of its association at its national meeting in Kansas. IU East will now pursue conference membership in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.

“This marks a major step forward in the university’s development,” said IU East Interim Chancellor Nasser Paydar. “By competing at the NAIA level, our student-athletes will experience the energy, commitment, and excitement of intercollegiate athletics on a national stage.”

As an NAIA member, IU East will join 300 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada in a shared commitment to academics and athletics. The NAIA’s mission is to promote the education and development of well-rounded students and productive citizens through intercollegiate athletics.

“We’re laying a strong foundation for the future of IU East athletics,” said IU East Athletic Director Mark Hester. “We’re absolutely thrilled to begin a new era as a member of the NAIA . Our student-athletes will have the opportunity to be part of something special.”

IU East competes in women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, and men’s golf. In coming years, IU East will add various team sports as student interest and funding increase Hester said. Plans for men’s and women’s cross country and women’s golf to start in fall 2008 are underway with men’s and women’s tennis soon to follow.

“We are fortunate to have excellent coaches to get these programs started off on the right foot,” Hester said. “That is a very important ingredient to recruiting high level student-athletes. When you have coaches that care about not only the quality of athlete, but the quality of person that we bring in to this institution, it makes for a positive experience for the entire campus community. We really hope that all of Eastern Indiana will get behind us and support our teams and follow our successes as we begin this new phase of intercollegiate competition at IU East.”

Paydar believes that a strong athletics program will also help IU East continue its growth trend in enrollment. “This will add to the life of the university,” he said. “It aligns nicely with our plans for IU East to grow and play a more vibrant leadership role in enhancing the quality of life of this region.”

Indiana University East is east central Indiana’s leader in baccalaureate and graduate education, offering over 60 Indiana University degree program options to residents of east central Indiana and west central Ohio. It also offers programs of study at its regional centers in New Castle, Connersville and Lawrenceburg. For more information, please visit

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