Hours of preparation and sacrifice resulted in a determination to succeed no matter the cost for the University of North Dakota Athletics programs, particularly the Fighting Hawks’ women’s soccer, men’s basketball and hockey teams.
Women’s soccer reached unprecedented heights with a Summit League Tournament berth, it’s first Division I postseason appearance as an NCAA Tournament eligible team, while men’s hockey won the Penrose Cup to capture another NCHC title and the men’s basketball team survived and advanced its way to The Summit League Tournament Championship game.
These successes will go down as watershed moments and chapters of excellence for these programs and in the lives of the student-athletes from these teams, but these three programs also share common traits: selflessness and service to others.
As announced by Helper Helper, a subscription service that tracks high schools, universities, and non-profits’ community service hours and community impact, announced that women’s soccer, men’s basketball, and hockey led the country in community service at the Division I level in their respective sports.
While these Fighting Hawks programs are receiving top-billing for their commitment to service, they only scratch the surface for the Fighting Hawks Athletic Department’s commitment to service.
Volunteering a total of 5,352 hours with an economic impact of $136,098, according to Helper Helper, 12 of North Dakota’s 17 teams finished in the top-10 in the country in community service hours and impact. UND had the second-most teams in the top-10 behind the University of Michigan’s 15.
As a result of the department’s culture of giving and service, the University of North Dakota finished third nationally in Helper Helper’s final Division I standings and was the top-ranked FCS school. It’s the second-straight year that North Dakota has ranked in the top three.
“We are so proud of what our student-athletes do for the community,” said Director of Athletics Bill Chaves. “As part of our Flight Plan (department strategy), we are committed to a great culture, as well as excellence in the classroom and in competition; but our fourth area is affecting our community by serving them, and these results are a testament to this annual goal.”
Finishing in the top five nationally were the women’s cross country/indoor and outdoor track & field programs (3rd), volleyball (4th), and softball (5th) teams.
Rounding out the top-10 were the men’s golf, women’s basketball, and men’s tennis teams, who all finished in seventh place among their sports, while women’s golf was ninth in the community service standings.
The standings by Helper Helper are formulated by each team or departments’ participation percentage, hours per student-athlete, and the total hours by its top student-athletes.
“Our student-athletes see the value that volunteering plays in their lives and the community,” said Director of Student-Athlete Development Tyler Burmeister. “There is a great pride and commitment to giving back, and that speaks volumes to the type of student-athletes that come to UND.”
For news and updates on UND Athletics, visit FightingHawks.com and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @UNDsports.
NATIONAL LEADERS IN COMMUNITY SERVICE
OTHER TOP-10 RANKED PROGRAMS
Men’s Golf: 7th
Men’s Tennis: 7th
Women’s Basketball: 7th
Women’s XC/Track & Field: 3rd
Women’s Golf 9th
HELPER HELPER’S TOP-10 DIVISION I SCHOOLS
1. New Orleans
2. Appalachian State
3. North Dakota
6. South Alabama
8. James Madison
9. Kent State