On Oct. 28, 2022, Calvin University’s Board of Trustees voted on and approved the university’s athletics strategic plan, which includes adding women’s acrobatics and tumbling, men’s volleyball and men’s American football to its portfolio of NCAA Division III athletic offerings. It also calls for an exploration of expanded ice hockey programs, including adding a women’s team.

“We are one of the premier athletics programs in all of Division III and so why not add more offerings that meet the needs of our students,” said Dr. Wiebe Boer, president of Calvin University. “By adding these sports, we are providing students who have competed throughout high school the opportunity to get the best Christian liberal arts education around and continue in the sport they love. It’s a win-win.”

The athletic expansion emerged from the Calvin Tomorrow Initiative and is supported by the Strategic Budget Review process. By investing in these programs Calvin will enhance the student experience on campus and open the door to more learners, including student athletes.

“Calvin University occupies a unique space in Division III athletics,” said Dr. Noah Toly, provost of Calvin University. “Our athletic teams are consistently winning league titles and competing on the national stage, and those same student-athletes are raising the collective GPA of the university. This only happens because as a community we value excellence on the field and court and in the classroom and our faculty, staff, and coaches support that environment.”

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics award the Learfield Director’s Cup each year to the top athletics program in the country. Since the award was started for Division III in 1996, Calvin is one of only six schools to have been a Top 30 program every year.

“We are excited to extend Calvin’s athletic brand to as many student-athletes as possible. This translates to competitive excellence and a compelling student-athlete experience in a faith-based institution. That’s Calvin,” said Dr. Jim Timmer, director of athletics for Calvin University.

The athletics strategic plan also includes a significant renovation and expansion of Calvin’s outdoor athletic facilities, including the construction of new outdoor facilities for soccer, lacrosse and football. Searches for head coaches in men’s volleyball and women’s acrobatics and tumbling are underway, with a search for a Calvin football coach kicking off early next month.

“We are thrilled to welcome Calvin University to the Acrobatics & Tumbling community and to continue growth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), said NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook. “As our ninth NCAA DIII member, the addition of Calvin will strengthen MIAA and regional DIII competition, as well as increase opportunities in Michigan for young women training in gymnastics and cheerleading to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level.”

“The momentum we are experiencing now is exciting as we continue to make progress towards our goal of NCAA championship status. We are thankful for the investment by our members to create meaningful participation opportunities for women.”

About Calvin University
Founded in 1876, Calvin University is a top-ranked, liberal arts institution that equips its more than 3,200 students from 48 U.S. states, 55 countries, and five Canadian provinces to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. Calvin offers 100+ majors and programs, including a growing portfolio of graduate-level offerings. Calvin students engage in intensive internships, community-based service learning, and significant research that results in publishing and presenting alongside world-class faculty. The university’s 400-acre campus is in the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Discover more at www.calvin.edu.