Fr. Denning Appointed to NCAA Division II Presidents Council

EASTON, Mass. (May 5, 2016) – Stonehill College President Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., has been selected to begin a four year term on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, representing not just the College and Northeast-10 Conference, but all of Region 1, which includes all six New England states as well as Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. His term will run until January, 2021.

"I look forward to serving on the NCAA Division II President's Council," said Denning. "It is an honor for me to represent not only Stonehill but the Northeast-10 Conference and schools in the Region 1 district. I believe strongly in the Division's balanced philosophy which appreciates and encourages athletic competition, academic endeavor and full engagement with campus life."

Denning is the fourth Northeast-10 president selected to the Council – the second with Stonehill ties. Former Franklin Pierce University president Dr. George Hagerty, a 1975 Stonehill graduate, was the first NE-10 president to serve on the Division II Presidents Council (2002-06), before former Southern Connecticut State University president Dr. Cheryl Norton (2008-11) and Saint Anselm College president Dr. Steven DiSalvo (2014-16) later served.

"The Northeast-10 Conference couldn't be happier to have Fr. John appointed to the NCAA Division II Presidents Council," said Julie Ruppert, Commissioner of the NE-10. "His long history at Stonehill, and in the Northeast-10 of caring for, and believing in, the academic and athletic success of our student-athletes makes him a perfect choice to take on this national leadership role. Stonehill has proven year after year that great success can be attained in the classroom and on the playing fields by a balanced approach and a commitment to excellence on all fronts. I have absolutely no doubt that Fr. John will contribute greatly to the future success of the NCAA and Division II in particular with his leadership on the Council."

The NCAA Division II Presidents Council includes 16 members – one for every 22 institutions in each region, with two "at large" positions existing to help achieve diversity of representation and accommodate independent institutions. The Presidents Council is Division II's highest governance office, and its members are charged with setting the strategic direction for the division in all areas, including financial affairs and championships administration. The Presidents Council is also the primary sponsor of legislative proposals at the NCAA Convention and the chair of the Council moderates the Division II Business Session at the annual Convention.

 "The athletic department is proud to have Fr. Denning serve on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council," said Dean O'Keefe, '94, Director of Athletics at the College. "Fr. John has long been a strong supporter of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators, and we are excited he will he will have the opportunity to represent Stonehill, the Northeast-10 Conference and the entire region during his term on the Council."

Denning became Stonehill's tenth president in its 65-year history on July 1, 2013. Prior to taking the office as president, Denning served the College as its Vice President for Student Affairs, which oversees, among many departments, intercollegiate athletics from 2007-2013.

With 20 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. In addition to winning its fifth Northeast-10 Presidents' Cup following the 2014-15 academic year, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first five years of the program's existence of honoring institutions with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 96% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA two straight years, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for fifth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with 12 Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked third in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs. Stonehill has also been selected as the host of the 2016 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championships at W.B. Mason Stadium.

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