At the annual convention of the National Collegiate Athletic Association held last week in Orlando, Fla., Daemen College President Gary Olson officially assumed office as chair of the powerful Division II Presidents Council, the body that helps establish policy for all D-II collegiate athletics nationwide.
The Presidents Council includes 16 presidents or chancellors from Division II institutions from across the country. Olson will continue to hold a seat on the NCAA Board of Governors, the highest governance body in the organization, which oversees issues pertaining to all levels of NCAA-sponsored intercollegiate athletics.
As the chair of the Presidents Council, Olson plans to continue and enhance the division’s efforts to foster high academic performance among its student-athletes and to sponsor initiatives that promote student wellness, both physical and emotional.
“What sets Division II apart from the other athletics divisions is its equal valuing of both academic and athletic excellence,” said Olson. “Our ‘Life in the Balance’ emphasis helps over 120,000 student-athletes each year learn the skills that enable them to excel throughout their lives in whatever challenges they face.”
Division II is composed of 308 colleges and universities competing in 24 conferences. Daemen is the only Division II institution in the Buffalo Niagara region. For the last three weeks, its men’s basketball team has been ranked in the top twenty-five in the nation.